About 50% of 294 financial institutions worldwide surveyed by professional services firm KPMG admitted they were only in a "pre-study" or "assessment phase" of their Basel 2 projects, even though the regulation is due to come into force in 2007.
Progress among UK banks was generally greater than regions such as Asia Pacific. However, UK banks admitted concerns over the inflexibility of IT systems and the volume of data required.
Richard Boulton, principal adviser at KPMG, said old systems and the difficulties resulting from incompatible applications were causing problems.
"Banks have credit systems which are not the most advanced and they need extra information, such as turnover from loans to small businesses," he said.
Boulton advised banks to take advantage of an overlap in requirements between forthcoming regulations to minimise IT work. He added that banks might find it easier to break their Basel 2 compliance efforts into a number of projects.