Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Overlooked Merits of Bank Disclosure

Author: David Schwartz
  • What if banks were to get a capital benefit from investing in superior risk management technology – and if that benefit was disclosed to the market?
  • Should not the costs of risk management investments by FDIC-insured banks be partly repaid by taxpayers in the form of capital relief?
  • Why don’t capital rules allow a reduction in risk-weighted requirements, to help offset the lost revenue and encourage conservative risk management?
  • Dynamic metrics are far more relevant for understanding the levels of stability in securities finance than are static sizing and demographics alone.

European bankers are caught up in a debate over whether to disclose their full supervisory capital demands to market participants. That’s an issue because bank supervisors, under Pillar 2 of the Basel III accord, can set a bank’s regulatory capital “guidance” at a level higher than its Pillar 1 “requirements.” Bank analysts and investors can discount the securities of banks with relatively high guidance, assuming that supervisors have learned something negative in their confidential reviews. That’s the essence of Pillar 3: Market Discipline.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Fintech Poised to Create a New Financial World

IOSCO Report Looks at Intersection of Fintech and Financial Regulation

Author: David Schwartz

“Fintech,” or financial technology," is a term that seems to be on everyone's lips these days, from bankers to global finance ministers.  Dramatic advances in computing power, speed, interoperability, and nearly instantaneous internet communication are changing the ways banks, brokers, and other financial institutions relate to their customers, investors, regulators, and each other. But what do these changes mean to the future of financial markets and regulation?  In February 2017, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a document that ambitiously charts the bewildering array of fintech innovations and describes how these innovations are beginning to intersect with securities markets regulation. Based on industry surveys, the report looks at the most important technological innovations affecting global finance and makes some observations about regulatory responses.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

For the Want of a Nail … the Details of Regulatory Reform

UNANTICIPATED COSTS - AND BENEFITS

Author: David Schwartz

To look for the effect of new rules on banks, regulators rely on academic models that treat banks as aggregates. In truth, global banks are collections of service businesses, not simply larger versions of George Bailey’s 1946 community lender. Missing that fact may be one reason why the list of unintended consequences from regulatory reform is growing. Critics in the U.S., without anticipating a challenge, are calling for the repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act. But expecting repeal is a dangerous strategy for bankers.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

FSB Issues Recommendations for Asset Management Vulnerabilities

Securities Lending Indemnification Stays on the List of Risks

Author: David Schwartz

On January 12, 2017, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published its Policy Recommendations to Address Structural Vulnerabilities from Asset Management Activities. The FSB published a consultation on this topic in June of 2016, and the January publication incorporates comments received from over 50 respondents including asset managers and their trade associations, banks, pension funds, other financial intermediaries, and individuals. These policy recommendations are part of the FSB’s larger effort launched in 2015 to understand and address potential financial stability risks from structural vulnerabilities associated with the rapidly growing global asset management industry. The recommendations are designed to provide authorities and asset management entities with the tools and data to effectively detect and address the identified risks.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

FSB Takes a New Approach to Collateral Re-use and Re-hypothecation

Author: David Schwartz

In dual releases published on January 25, 2017, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) expressed concern that re-use of collateral and re-hypothecation of client assets may pose financial stability issues. The financial crisis demonstrated that collateral re-use and re-hypothecation can transmit and amplify shocks to financial markets. While regulators have responded and prime brokers and clients have improved their risk management and practices since the crisis, the FSB has formulated recommendations to address residual financial stability risks associated with collateral re-use. In these releases, the FSB finalizes its data collection plans, and also explores whether uniform implementation of its recommendations is truly necessary, or whether a more flexible principles-base approach might be more effective. 

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