Dealing with divergence

Despite the work that banks currently have underway from building regulatory infrastructure and processes to sustaining and streamlining them, one potential headwind is the threat of regulatory divergence in substance and timing across jurisdictions.  For banks with a global presence, divergence adds to uncertainty and complexity, fosters an unlevel playing field, and hampers the ability to plan and optimize resources.  Successfully navigating the many challenges of regulatory divergence requires a deliberate disciplined approach that recognizes the regional tailoring of regulatory and compliance initiatives, and that regulatory strategy and business strategy should converge.

The growing divergence in regulatory standards is a reversal of previous post-crisis trends.  For example, since 2009, banking regulators around the world have been committed to strengthening the capital, liquidity, and leverage standards for banks. Those efforts embedded an equally strong commitment to address the unevenness and complexity of the global capital framework for internationally-active banks. Regulatory convergence initiatives, such as Basel III and the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) work on resolution regimes, set the tone for an increasingly consistent banking rulebook across most jurisdictions.

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A new ratings framework aligned to regulatory reform priorities

On August 3, 2017, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) released a notice of proposed rulemaking that would establish a new rating system for large financial institutions (LFIs). Specifically, the new rating system would apply to bank holding companies (BHCs) and non-insurance, non-commercial savings and loan holding companies (SLHCs) with more than $50 billion in total assets, as well as intermediate holding companies (IHCs) of foreign banking organizations.

The proposal includes a new rating scale under which component ratings would be assigned for:

  1. Capital planning and positions,
  2. Liquidity risk management and positions, and
  3. Governance and controls.

In essence, the Fed is revamping its rating system for LFIs to catch up with the Fed’s post-crisis heightened supervisory expectations and approach to LFI supervision.  The Fed proposes to assign initial ratings under the new rating system during 2018.

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FRB Issues Guidance Consolidating Capital Planning Expectations for All Large Financial Institutions

Posted by David Wright, Deloitte Advisory Director on January 26, 2016.

Ever since the first bank stress tests were conducted during the financial downturn, regulatory expectations for capital planning and stress testing have been evolving as both bank supervisors and the industry have gained knowledge and experience. Over the years, those rising expectations have been communicated through examination letters, regulations, range of practice guidance, and capital planning instructions. While those various communications were helpful, they were not memorialized in one set of comprehensive guidance, nor did they address how expectations might differ depending on a firm’s size and complexity—until now.

On December 21, 2015, the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) released guidance—in the form of two Supervision and Regulation Letters (SR Letters)—that consolidates the capital planning expectations for all large financial institutions and clarifies differences in those expectations based on firm size and complexity.

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