On 20 March 2020, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel Committee) reported that it had held a conference call with its members to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global banking system.

The Basel Committee reports that following the strengthening of the Basel III standards the global banking system has significantly higher levels of capital and liquidity, and is in a stronger position to absorb shocks and mitigate interruptions to banking services.

The Basel Committee also states that using capital resources to support the real economy and absorb losses should take priority at present over discretionary distributions.

In the immediate term, the Basel Committee is suspending consultation on all policy initiatives and postponing all outstanding jurisdictional assessments planned in 2020 under its Regulatory Consistency Assessment Programme.

In the coming days, the Basel Committee will consider additional measures aimed at supporting the financial resilience of banks and the operational resilience of both the banking and supervisory community during these unprecedented times.