Fed's Bernanke pushes higher bank capital, better pay practices

Reuters
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke addresses a town hall event for teachers in Washington
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U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addresses a town hall event for teachers at the Federal Reserve Board's building in Washington November 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

(Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday reiterated the need for banks to hold more capital and liquid assets to survive a market shock, and he endorsed practices that link executive pay to performance.

"One of the most important goals is to ensure that banks hold more and higher-quality capital, and have sufficient liquid assets on hand, to be able to survive a market shock or severe economic downturn," said Bernanke, who is to step down from the U.S. central bank at the end of January.

"We must push banking organizations of all sizes to ensure their compensation practices link pay to performance and do not encourage excessive risk-taking," he said in prepared remarks to a conference of the Union of Arab Banks.

Financial regulators globally are adopting new rules to reinforce banks and protect against a repetition of the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Bernanke was speaking via prerecorded video. He did not comment on monetary policy or the U.S. economy.

(Reporting by Timothy Ahmann and Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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