#SA

27 11, 2023

GSE-112723

2023-11-27T11:49:59-05:00November 27th, 2023|4- GSE Activity Report|

An Advanced View of Regulatory Capital?

The most significant thing in FHFA’s final capital rule is not what is to be done, but what FHFA left out: ending the GSEs’ advanced-approach requirement.  As a result, Fannie and Freddie can still use models for key calculations, a requirement that makes more sense for two complex organizations than it did for the regional banks also long subject to advanced-approach requirements even though the rules required them, like GSIBs, to hold the higher of the standardized or advanced approach.

GSE-112723.pdf

3 10, 2023

DAILY100323

2023-10-03T16:38:58-04:00October 3rd, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Hsu Notes Benefits of International Data Hub, Warns of Nonbank Risks

In remarks today, Acting Comptroller Hsu focused on the benefits of the BIS International Data Hub, noting for example that it provides national authorities with a horizontal view of key risks affecting the global financial system difficult to obtain elsewhere.

Basel Sees End-Game in Sight, US Off Late List

Finally taking the U.S. off the tardy list, the Basel Committee today updated its Basel III implementation dashboard, finding that as of Q3 2023 the US, along with the EU, UK, China, Switzerland, South Africa, and Hong Kong are now working to adopt revisions to the credit valuation adjustment and operational risk frameworks, the standardized approach for credit risk, the minimum requirements for market risk, and the output floor – i.e., Basel’s end-game.

Daily100323.pdf

26 09, 2023

DAILY092623

2023-09-26T16:36:09-04:00September 26th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

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.

Daily092623.pdf

17 08, 2023

CAPITAL234

2023-08-17T15:22:40-04:00August 17th, 2023|5- Client Report|

FedFin Assessment: What the Agencies Think the Rules Will do and Why Much of That is Wrong

With this report, we conclude our assessment of the regulatory-capital proposal with analysis of what the sum total of the credit (see FSM Report CAPITAL231), operational (see FSM Report OPSRISK22), and market (see FSM Report CAPITAL233) rules could do in the real world of banks, nonbanks, foreign banks, and complex market interconnections.  Our first assessment of the proposal’s framework (see FSM Report CAPITAL230) provided the agencies’ quantitative-impact statement (QIS).  Here, we evaluate the QIS, expand on the agencies’ qualitative conclusions, and add our own assessment of what might actually happen in the face of these sometimes-contradictory capital incentives.

CAPITAL234.pdf

8 08, 2023

FedFin on: Equity and Securitization Capital Standards

2023-08-08T13:44:33-04:00August 8th, 2023|The Vault|

Based on our analysis of the inter-agency capital proposal’s framework and its credit-risk provisions, FedFin turns now to the proposed approach to equities as well as to that for securitization exposures (i.e., those that are tranched rather than simple secondary-market issuances of packages of loans or other assets backed as needed by a single credit enhancement). The proposal in some cases liberalizes the current, “general” standardized approach (SA), but more often toughens it to account for elimination of the advanced approach…

The full report is available to retainer clients. To find out how you can sign up for the service, click here and here.…

8 08, 2023

CAPITAL232

2023-08-08T10:52:38-04:00August 8th, 2023|1- Financial Services Management|

Equity and Securitization Capital Standards

Based on our analysis of the inter-agency capital proposal’s framework and its credit-risk provisions, FedFin turns now to the proposed approach to equities as well as to that for securitization exposures (i.e., those that are tranched rather than simple secondary-market issuances of packages of loans or other assets backed as needed by a single credit enhancement).  The proposal in some cases liberalizes the current, “general” standardized approach (SA), but more often toughens it to account for elimination of the advanced approach.  This will have particular bearing on significant aspects of category III and IV bank activities (e.g., credit-card securitizations, MMF funding), but all covered banking organizations will see significant capital increases as many activities now permitted within the banking book would need to move to the trading book under the new market-risk rules.  Securitization-related capital standards are generally brought closer to those for underlying assets in simple securitizations, giving banks more balance-sheet flexibility and credit-risk mitigation opportunities if investors accept these structures.  The treatment of equity exposures is generally tightened, sometimes so much as to effectively prohibit certain activities – e.g., non-traditional equity investments in covered funds and BHC subsidiaries.  The new treatment of investment funds will also have significant implications for banks that fund themselves through prime MMFs or sponsor investment funds through equity positions.

CAPITAL232.pdf

4 08, 2023

FedFin on: Credit-Risk Capital Rewrite

2023-08-04T13:41:04-04:00August 4th, 2023|The Vault|

In this report, we proceed from our assessment of the proposed regulatory capital framework to an analysis of the rules governing credit risk.  In addition to eliminating the advanced approach, the proposal imposes higher standards for some assets than under the old standardized approach (SA) via new “expanded” requirements.  As detailed here, many expanded risk weightings are higher than current requirements either due to specific risk-weighted assessments (RWAs) or definitions and additional restrictions.  This contributes to the added capital costs identified by the banking agencies in their impact assessment, suggesting that lower risk weightings in the expanded approach reflected the reduced risks described in the proposal for other assets and will ultimately have little bearing on regulatory-capital requirements and thus ….

The full report is available to retainer clients. To find out how you can sign up for the service, click here and here.…

4 08, 2023

CAPITAL231

2023-08-04T13:40:43-04:00August 4th, 2023|1- Financial Services Management|

Credit-Risk Capital Rewrite

In this report, we proceed from our assessment of the proposed regulatory capital framework to an analysis of the rules governing credit risk.  In addition to eliminating the advanced approach, the proposal imposes higher standards for some assets than under the old standardized approach (SA) via new “expanded” requirements.  As detailed here, many expanded risk weightings are higher than current requirements either due to specific risk-weighted assessments (RWAs) or definitions and additional restrictions.  This contributes to the added capital costs identified by the banking agencies in their impact assessment, suggesting that lower risk weightings in the expanded approach reflected the reduced risks described in the proposal for other assets and will ultimately have little bearing on regulatory-capital requirements and thus on the overall ability of banks to expand into lower-risk areas and compete more effectively with nonbanks and foreign banks.  Big banks forced to abandon certain activities may expand others receiving capital discounts in the new rules, increasing their footprint in traditional banking in ways that may increase industry consolidation.

CAPITAL231.pdf

31 07, 2023

M073123

2023-07-31T10:40:52-04:00July 31st, 2023|6- Client Memo|

Two Tenets of the Capital Proposal That Make No Sense No Matter How Much One Might Want to Love The Rest of It

In the wake of the 1,089-page capital proposal, debate is waging on well-trod battlegrounds such as whether the new approach will dry up credit and thus stifle growth.  I’ve my own view on this, but my initial read of the proposal points to a still more fundamental issue:  some of it makes absolutely no sense even if one agrees with the agencies’ goals.  Here, I lay out two bedrock assumptions that contradict the rule’s express intent and will have adverse unintended consequences to boot.  God knows what lurks in the details.

M073123.pdf

31 07, 2023

Karen Petrou: Two Tenets of the Capital Proposal That Make No Sense No Matter How Much One Might Want to Love The Rest of It

2023-07-31T10:40:41-04:00July 31st, 2023|The Vault|

In the wake of the 1,089-page capital proposal, debate is waging on well-trod battlegrounds such as whether the new approach will dry up credit and thus stifle growth.  I’ve my own view on this, but my initial read of the proposal points to a still more fundamental issue:  some of it makes absolutely no sense even if one agrees with the agencies’ goals.  Here, I lay out two bedrock assumptions that contradict the rule’s express intent and will have adverse unintended consequences to boot.  God knows what lurks in the details.

The first “say what” in the sweeping rules results from the new “higher-of” construct.  Credit and operational -risk models are entirely gone and market-risk models are largely eviscerated.  Instead, big banks must hold the higher of the old, “general” standardized approach (SA) or the new, “expanded” SA.  Each of these requirements is set by the agencies – models mostly never allowed.  Further, a new “output floor” – different from Basel’s approach to this model’s constraint – is also mandated as yet another safety net preventing anyone gaining any advantage from any possible regulatory-capital arbitrage.

Why then not just demand that big banks use a standardized weighting the agencies think suffices?  Must banks be put through the burden of calculating two ratios when they have no ability to arbitrage requisite capital weights?  Do the agencies not even trust themselves to set capital standards that are now sometimes higher, sometimes lower as God gives them to know probability of default …

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