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Regulators are looking to ensure that banks have adequate capital reserves to weather a financial crisisReuters

The world's banking regulators are easing capital adequacy requirements for lenders in order to allow economic recovery to progress.

The Basel Committee, which is working to implement the Basel III directive by 2018, has initially set capital ratios at 3%.

Supervisors from the United States, Britain and elsewhere are pushing for a higher proportion, Reuters reported.

The ratio acts as a backstop to a lender's core risk-weighted capital requirements. A ratio of 3% means a bank must hold capital equivalent to 3% of its total assets.

The meeting of Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision (GHOS) in Switzerland is chaired by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

So far no agreement on what the final required capital ratio will be has been reached.

"The final calibration, and any further adjustments to the definition, will be completed by 2017," the GHOS said in a statement after its meeting.

US banks have been pressed to have ratios higher than 3%; British banks have been asked to have ratios of 4%.

The Bank of England's director for financial stability Andy Haldane has called for simpler rules to work out how much capital banks should hold instead of relying on complex risk weightings.

The sort of assets to be included in banks' capital ratios has been a source of debate among central bankers.

Derivatives, for instance, can be accounted for on a net basis, rather than a gross basis, so removing any incentive to discard certain types of assets such as loans to companies.

This allows for a level playing field between US banks and their European counterparts.

The GHOS has revised another rule that should make short-term funding for banks easier, known as the net stable funding ratio (NSFR).

The NSFR is meant to ensure that banks have enough funding for one year; short term funding that was a prime factor in the credit crunch of 2007.

Certain of the changes are likely to ease the burden on deposit funded banks, but could be tougher on investment banks which are attuned to operating with short term funding.