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ECB expects bank compliance with crypto Basel rules before legislation

EU ECB basel crypto-assets

Yesterday the European Central Bank (ECB) published a summary of the Basel Committee’s (BCBS) rules for crypto-assets that were released in December 2022. Additionally, last week the European Commission released the draft text of a Basel rule saying banks should treat crypto-assets with a 1250% risk weighting as an interim measure until detailed legislation is implemented. The ECB’s statement implies that banks should not wait for legislation to pass.

“The BCBS standard is not yet legally binding pending its transposition in the European Union,” the ECB wrote. “However, should banks wish to engage in this market, they are expected to comply with the standard and take it into account in their business and capital planning.”

The Basel Committee set a January 2025 deadline for jurisdictions to adopt the crypto-asset rules.

Meanwhile, the current draft version of the EU rules is expected to be revised as the 1250% risk weighting reference does not differentiate between crypto-assets that are compliant security tokens (conventional risk weighting) versus cryptocurrencies.

Additionally, yesterday the ECB published the results of a digital transformation survey of more than a hundred large European banks.

It found that less than 20% of banks are using distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions, although the figure rises to more than 50% when including solutions in development and being explored. Crypto-related activities and exposures were considered insignificant.

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