The Basel II risk-based capital ratio will provide the ultimate guarantee of the safety and soundness of major US banking groups, not the present domestic leverage ratio, in the view of Federal Reserve governor Susan Schmidt Bies. Her comments to GRR, in the margins of a December conference in Geneva, underline the continuing sharp differences between the Fed and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) over the impact that the Basel II capital standard will have if adopted in the US.

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