U.S. wants 'significant' increase in capital requirements under new international rules

The U.S. is urging a "significant" increase in minimum capital requirements as part of broad new international standards currently under debate.

Michael Barr, assistant Treasury secretary, said Tuesday that U.S. negotiators in the so-called Basell III talks are pushing for higher capital ratios for financial firms in an effort to strengthen them against possible financial crises or uncertainties.

The new capital requirements may also be higher for riskier financial transactions, Barr said.

"Capital calculations for trading exposures will now have to be based on stressed market conditions, and the charges for securitization exposures will be increased substantially," Barr said. "In both derivatives and secured lending transactions, firms will now also be subject to a capital charge for losses associated with a deterioration in the credit worthiness of their counterparties."