Accuity Whitepaper Examines Basel III Challenges

The impact of the Basel III capital adequacy regime on the global economy is largely, unknown but stricter capital requirements for banks will undoubtedly change the landscape for a range of industries according to Accuity.

In its whitepaper, entitled ‘Basel III: Meeting the challenge of a new regulatory environment’, the payments and compliance software specialist suggests that one such casualty of Basel III is likely to be trade finance, deemed a riskier funding instrument due to risk related capital and liquidity buffers.

Despite two-thirds of European companies currently funding Asian and North American trade through trade finance, 80% of financial executives recently surveyed by Greenwich Associates expect pricing on trade finance products and services to increase under the regulation with many products being abandoned altogether. This is particularly prevalent in Asia, where trade finance is a critical source of funding and pull backs in response to Basel III have recently been felt.

As the roll out for the Basel III recommendations takes hold, many banks are looking at transforming their business models accordingly. With the last of the ratios not in place until 2019, the long transitional phase can be deceiving. Adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach to compliance is not an option.

The fourth Capital Requirements Directive (CRD IV) under Basel III focusing on transparency, remuneration, the introduction of buffers and enhanced governance currently runs to over 1,000 pages with a further 200 reference points to be determined.  Given the sheer scale and complexity of Basel III, a number of compliance and risk management processes should be adopted in preparing for the changing landscape:

  • Banks must focus on better data management, ensuring automated and robust conciliation procedures and centralised information systems are in place.
  • Business models should be re-examined in accordance with new risk appetites, impacting capital to lend, margins and ability to withstand stress.
  • Banks must develop capital and liquidity strategies to prepare for the new environment, to include changes to business models, pricing strategies and product offerings.
  • Focus on maximising risk, capital and liquidity management process enhancements to withstand risk and ensure adequate processes are implemented.
  • Keep up to date with latest regulatory developments, developing a roadmap to reduce risk and ensure Basel III compliance.

“Basel III is one of the most important reforms to emerge from the events of 2008, striving to manage systematic risk and ensuring greater sustainability in the global financial system,” said Robert McKay, managing director at Accuity.

“While the full implementation of the regulation won’t complete until 2019, many regulatory jurisdictions, especially in Asia, expect to impose tougher standards years before the official deadline. In order to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis, it is essential that banks act now, embracing key compliance processes and meeting new standards to minimise disruption to the business of banking.”

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