Karen Petrou: FSOC’s NBFI Plans Will Cost Big Banks Dearly

2023-02-21T11:15:33-05:00February 21st, 2023|The Vault|

Although the always-inscrutable FSOC’s read-out of its last meeting was clear only with respect to approval of prior meeting minutes, the brief mention of ongoing U.S. work to address nonbank financial intermediation (NBFI) was so tantalizing that we ventured down darkened corners of key agencies to get a read-out of our own.  Two conclusions came to light:  the U.S. will take tough action on limiting bank/NBFI interconnections in its pending bank capital rewrite and FSOC is fine with the SEC’s recent MMF and open-end fund proposals even if pretty much no one else is.

First to the capital rewrites and how costly they could be.  In its most recent NBFI review, the FSB took sharp issue with the extent to which the U.S. has taken sufficient steps to curb the inter-connected risks to NBFIs evident even before the 2020 market collapse.  We expect the banking agencies not only to issue the end-game rules discussed in my last memo, but also to make good on the U.S. promise to Basel well before the game nominally ended with the 2017 revisions.

This means new capital standards costing banks big when it comes to bank equity investments in funds and higher risk weightings for exposures to unregulated financial institutions.  It also means new capital requirements absorbing “step-in” risk – i.e., the extent to which reputational risk forces banks to stand by their off-balance sheet funds, SIVs, or other instrumentalities.  Two banks in fact supported affiliated funds in MMFs during the 2020 …