Such a delay would deal a further blow to the global Basel III accord, which was struck by central bankers and regulators in a bid to make banks less risky. It requires banks to set aside more capital to cover losses such as unpaid loans and had been due to start from January 1, 2013.

"We are going towards a postponement of Basel III to the end of 2013, January 2014 at the latest," Bank of Italy Director General Fabrizio Saccomanni told a meeting of business leaders in Rome.

So now both the US and EU are delaying it. And if they can do this, the delay is indefinite. This is probably to avoid the introduction of gold as a Tier I asset.

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