Given the inherent risky nature of banking activity, bank capital represents a fundamental buffer to cover unexpected losses and to prevent failures which could have highly detrimental impacts on the real economy. In order to protect savings and to maintain public confidence in the functioning of the overall financial system, banks worldwide are subject to intense regulation and supervision. In this context, the main aim of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), established in 1974, is to enhance global financial stability by strengthening the prudential regulation and supervision of banks. The Committee has over time published a series of international standards, mostly related to bank capital regulation, widely known as Basel accords. In the light of recent global developments (e.g. Covid-19 pandemic crisis), and by providing pertinent examples, your task is to: 1. Critically discuss the role and importance of bank capital and the rationale for holding and maintaining adequate capital levels. 2. While providing evidence of the latest developments in international bank capital regulation, critically discuss the implications, benefits and shortcomings of the Basel III agreement. Important elements in a successful assignment on this topic: § Literature review based on highly-recognized academic journals. You should demonstrate your capability in reading and research beyond the material provided and discussed in lectures. A minimum of 10 references from academic journals as attached is expected. In addition, referring to respected financial media (e.g. The Economist, Financial Times) and international news agencies (e.g. Reuters) is also relevant to build a critical and up-to-date review of the recent developments. § Graphs, data and tables will positively contribute in presenting your critical review (the maximum number of graphs/tables/figures is three). The essay should include adequate in-text citations of papers and various sources of information, with full details reported in a list of references at the end of your document (and organised alphabetically). The reference list should not be included in the word count.
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