Are BHC and Federal Reserve Stress Test Results Converging? What Do We Learn from 2015?
In March, the Federal Reserve and thirty-one large U.S. bank holding companies (BHCs) announced results of the latest Dodd-Frank Act-mandated stress tests. Some commentators have argued that BHCs, in designing their stress test models, have strong incentives to mimic the Fed’s stress test results, since the Fed’s results are an integral part of the Federal Reserve’s supervisory assessment of capital adequacy for these firms. In this post, we look at the 2015 stress test projections by the eighteen largest U.S. BHCs and by the Fed and compare them to similar numbers from 2013 and 2014. ...
Are BHCs Mimicking the Fed's Stress Test Results?
In March, the Federal Reserve and thirty-one large bank holding companies (BHCs) disclosed their annual Dodd-Frank Act stress test (DFAST) results. This is the third year in which both the BHCs and the Fed have published their projections. In a previous post, we looked at whether the Fed’s and the BHCs’ stress test results are converging in the aggregate and found mixed results. In this post, we look at stress test projections made by individual BHCs. If the Fed’s projections are very different from a BHC’s in one year, do the BHC projections change in the following year to close this ...
Using credit risk models for regulatory capital: issues and options
The authors describe the issues and options that would be associated with the development of regulatory minimum capital standards for credit risk based on banks' internal risk measurement models. Their goal is to provide a sense of the features that an internal-models (IM) approach to regulatory capital would likely incorporate, and to stimulate discussion among financial institutions, supervisors, and other interested parties about the many practical and conceptual issues involved in structuring a workable IM regulatory capital regime for credit risk. The authors focus on three main areas: ...
Supervising large, complex financial institutions: what do supervisors do?
The supervision of large, complex financial institutions is one of the most important, but least understood, activities of the Federal Reserve. Supervision entails monitoring and oversight to assess whether firms are engaged in unsafe or unsound practices, and to ensure that firms take appropriate action to correct such practices. It is distinct from regulation, which involves the development and promulgation of the rules under which firms operate. This article brings greater transparency to the Federal Reserve?s supervisory activities by considering how they are structured, staffed, and ...
How Were the Basel 3 Minimum Capital Requirements Calibrated?
One way to reduce the likelihood of bank failures is to require banks to hold more and better capital. But how much capital is enough? An international committee of regulators recently reached a new agreement (called Basel 3) to impose new, higher standards for capital on globally active banks. The Basel 3 common equity minimum capital requirement will be 4.5 percent plus an additional buffer of at least 2.5 percent of risk-weighted assets (RWA). Are these numbers big or small?and where did they come from? In this post, I describe how the new Basel capital standards were calibrated.
Using Crisis Losses to Calibrate a Regulatory Capital Buffer
In response to the enormous losses experienced during the recent financial crisis, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision reached a new international agreement on the amount of capital banks will be required to hold. The “Basel 3” agreement introduces a new, two-tiered structure for regulatory capital requirements involving much more stringent standards for the amount of common equity banks must hold. In a previous post, I discussed how the minimum capital requirement component of the Basel 3 agreement was calibrated. In this post, I explain how the other component—the common equity ...
Just Released: What Do Banking Supervisors Do?
In most developed economies, banking is among the most regulated and supervised sectors. While 'regulation' and 'supervision' are often used interchangeably, these two activities are distinct. Banking supervision is a complement to regulation, but its scope is much broader than simply ensuring that an institution is in compliance with regulation. Despite the importance of supervision, information about it is often limited, both because of the heavy reliance upon banks' confidential information and because many supervisory activities and actions are themselves confidential. In a recently ...
Are Stress Tests Still Informative?
Since the height of the financial crisis, each year the Federal Reserve has disclosed the results of its stress tests, and stress testing has become ?business as usual? in the U.S. banking industry. In this post, we assess whether market participants find supervisory stress test disclosures informative. After half a decade, do the disclosures still contain information that the market finds valuable?
Supervising Large, Complex Financial Institutions: Defining Objectives and Measuring Effectiveness
Last month the New York Fed held a conference on supervising large, complex financial institutions. The event featured presentations of empirical and theoretical research by economists here, commentary by academic researchers, and panel discussions with policymakers and senior supervisors. The conference was motivated by the recognition that supervision is distinct from regulation, but that the difference between them is often not well understood. The discussion focused on defining objectives for supervising the large, complex financial companies that figure so prominently in our financial ...