The Basel Committee has published the results of its Basel III monitoring exercise. The study is based on rigorous reporting processes set up by the Committee to periodically review the implications of the Basel III standards for financial markets. A total of 212 banks participated in the study, including 103 Group 1 banks (i.e. those that have Tier 1 capital in excess of €3bn and are internationally active) and 109 Group 2 banks (i.e. all other banks).
While the Basel III framework sets out transitional arrangements to implement the new standards, the monitoring exercise results assume full implementation of the final Basel III package based on data as of 30 June 2011 (i.e. they do not take account of the transitional arrangements such as the phase in of deductions). No assumptions were made about bank profitability or behavioural responses, such as changes in bank capital or balance sheet composition. For that reason the results of the study are not comparable to industry estimates.
Based on data as of 30 June 2011 and applying the changes to the definition of capital and risk-weighted assets (RWAs), the average common equity Tier 1 capital ratio (CET1) of Group 1 banks was 7.1%, as compared with the Basel III minimum requirement of 4.5%. In order for all Group 1 banks to reach the 4.5% minimum, an increase of €38.8bn CET1 would be required. The overall shortfall increases to €485.6bn to achieve a CET1 target level of 7.0% (i.e. including the capital conservation buffer); this amount includes the surcharge for global systemically important banks where applicable. As a point of reference, the sum of profits after tax and prior to distributions across the same sample of Group 1 banks in the second half of 2010 and the first half of 2011 was €356.6bn.
For Group 2 banks, the average CET1 ratio stood at 8.3%. In order for all Group 2 banks in the sample to meet the new 4.5% CET1 ratio, the additional capital needed is estimated to be €8.6bn. They would have required an additional €32.4bn to reach a CET1 target 7.0%; the sum of these banks’ profits after tax and prior to distributions in the second half of 2010 and the first half of 2011 was €35.6bn.
The Committee also assessed the estimated impact of the liquidity standards. Assuming banks were to make no changes to their liquidity risk profile or funding structure, as of June 2011, the weighted average liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) for Group 1 banks would have been 90% while the weighted average LCR for Group 2 banks was 83%. The aggregate LCR shortfall is €1.76 trillion which represents approximately 3% of the €58.5 trillion total assets of the aggregate sample. The weighted average net stable funding ratio (NSFR) is 94% for both Group 1 and Group 2 banks. The aggregate shortfall of required stable funding is €2.78 trillion.
Banks have until 2015 to meet the LCR standard and until 2018 to meet the NSFR standard, which will reflect any revisions following each standard’s observation period. As noted in a January 2012 press statement issued by the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision, the Basel Committee’s oversight body, modifications to a few key aspects of the LCR are currently under investigation but will not materially change the framework’s underlying approach. The Committee will finalise and subsequently publish its recommendations in these areas by the end of 2012.
Banks that are below the 100% required minimum thresholds can meet these standards by, for example, lengthening the term of their funding or restructuring business models which are most vulnerable to liquidity risk in periods of stress. It should be noted that the shortfalls in the LCR and the NSFR are not additive, as reducing the shortfall in one standard may also reduce the shortfall in the other standard.
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