BIS Analysis Blasts Lax Capital Regs, But We See Study Flaws

A new BIS paper uses confidential data to defend tough regulatory capital charges because bank internal measures of expected loss (EL) are “excessively optimistic.”  However, this critique in our view is applicable only to internal models.  It might be said that standardized-approach charges are also unduly optimistic if based on EL, but the entire Basel construct is intended to cover only EL, with loan-loss reserves, capital-conservation-buffers, the leverage ratio, and stress tests supposed to do the rest.

Basel Sees Large Bank Capital Improvements, Slight Liquidity Reductions

The Basel Committee today released the results of its monitoring exercise for the second half of 2022, finding that the largest banks’ capital ratios increased above pre-pandemic levels while liquidity coverage ratios declined.  Under the fully phased-in Basel III framework, the average common equity tier 1 capital ratio increased from 12.5% to 12.7% for Group 1 banks from the first half of 2022 to the end of the year.  Group 1 banks also reported regulatory capital shortfalls of $3.42 billion under this framework as of December 31, 2022, all of which was GSIB Tier II capital.