By Huw Jones
LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union plans to extend commodity dealers' exemption from the full panoply of capital requirements faced by banks for another three years to 2020, a document seen by Reuters shows.
Under EU capital requirement rules, an exemption for dealers in commodities and energy expires in December 2017.
"Under the existing regime, after 31 December 2017 commodity dealers will become subject to the large exposures requirements and own funds requirements," the Dec. 17 document written by the EU's executive European Commission said.
"This could force them to significantly increase the amount of own funds that they need to have in order to continue their activities and could therefore increase the related costs of performing those activities," it said.
The existing exemption was meant to give regulators enough time "to determine a prudential regulation adapted to the risk profile of commodity dealers".
The EU executive, however, has decided to combine this work with a review of capital charges on investment firms in general in order to come up with a broad, coherent framework.
"The investment firms' review is a complex project which will not be completed by the end of this year," the document said.
"It is therefore highly improbable that any legislation that may result from this review can be prepared, adopted and applied before the current exemptions expire, that is before the end of 2017," it added.
It was therefore necessary to extend the exemption for commodity dealers until the end of 2020 or to when any changes to the EU's capital rules come into force, which could take a few years.
(Editing by Susan Fenton)