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The Basel Accords (see alternative spellings below) refer to the banking supervision Accords (recommendations on banking regulations)—Basel I, Basel II and Basel III—issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS). They are called the Basel Accords as the BCBS maintains its secretariat at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland and the committee normally meets there. The Basel Accords is a set of recommendations for regulations in the banking industry.
Formerly, the Basel Committee consisted of representatives from central banks and regulatory authorities of the Group of Ten countries plus Luxembourg and Spain. Since 2009, all of the other G-20 major economies are represented, as well as some other major banking locales such as Hong Kong and Singapore. (See the Committee article for a full list of members.)
The committee does not have the authority to enforce recommendations, although most member countries as well as some other countries tend to implement the Committee's policies. This means that recommendations are enforced through national (or EU-wide) laws and regulations, rather than as a result of the committee's recommendations - thus some time may pass between recommendations and implementation as law at the national level.
The Basel Committee is named after the city of Basel, Switzerland. In early publications, the Committee sometimes used the British spelling "Basle" or the French spelling "Bâle," names that are sometimes still used in the media. More recently, the Committee has deferred to the predominantly German-speaking population of the region and used the spelling "Basel", which is also a common spelling in English (if not the most common).