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Big banks boosted capital buffers in first half of 2012, says Basel

The world's largest banks boosted their core capital ratios significantly in the first half of 2012, according to the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision (BCBS) on Tuesday.

The world's largest banks boosted their core capital ratios significantly in the first half of 2012, according to the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision (BCBS) on Tuesday.

The 101 so-called 'group one' banks - international lenders with tier-one capital of over €3.0bn - had an average common equity tier-one capital ratio (CET1) of 8.5% as of June 30th last year, up from 7.7% six months before.

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CET1 targets are buffers aimed at helping banks absorb financial shocks without government aid.

Basel III capital rules, which ask for a CET1 of 7.0%, are to be fully enforced by 2019.

The overall shortfall for banks that failed to meet the 7.0% CET1 target stood at €208.2bn at June 30t, the BCBS said, compared with a deficit of €374bn at the end of 2011.

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