Bank Resolution Plan

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Basel, Switzerland

You may or may not have heard about something called a Resolution Plan. A requirement from Title 1, Section 165(d) of the Dodd-Frank Act, any bank holding company with assets greater than $50 Billion is required to have one submitted to the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The Plan is specifically fulfilling the requirement in subsection 1 of the section. It has three enumerated requirements and one catch all requirement. The enumerated requirements are: the extent to which the institution is adequately protected from nonbank subsidiary risks; descriptions of the org structure, assets, liabilities and other obligations; and enumerate collateral with which securities are guaranteed. The catch all requirement just states the institution must provide “any other information that the Board of Governors and the Corporation jointly require by rule or order.”

This is a yearly exercise banks must pass in order to keep their bank charters. The idea is that the two major insurers of these institutions receive enough information so that there is enough insurance to cover for any losses by depositors and debtees. Unlike regular insurance plans, the insurance premium won’t go up. That has been taken off of the table. Instead, the institution could be required to increase its ability to cover for the risks.

The risks are measured using Basel 3 standards. Metrics such as CCAR and CVar are used to determine a financial instrument’s ownership and level of risk. So, basically this is an exercise in accounting, primarily, and finance, secondarily.

Despite the title of the section, it is left up to the Fed and the FDIC to figure out if a resolution plan can be derived from the requirements. That is to say, the “Resolution Plan and Credit Exposure Report,” submitted by the institution does not actually contain a plan on how to resolve a dissolution of the institution. It provides information with which the Fed and FDIC can do so.

For banks that are smaller and simpler, FDIC is implementing a plan to perform the exercise itself, taking the burden of performance off of these other institutions that do not face direct risks from collateralized securities.

Credit Unions have their own equivalent to the FDIC called National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). There are some similar rules for credit unions but because of the limited offerings credit unions are allowed to provide, the risks are inherently lower, therefore, the standards are lower.

This short explanation is a good start to understanding the goals DFA Title 1 Section 165 (d)1.

BitCoin Enthusiasts Celebrate Regulation

from Bloomberg
Benjamin Lawsky, Superintendent of New York Financial Services

Last month, New York Department of Financial Services announced that it will start regulating digital currencies.

Normally, people groan at the news of more regulation. However, digital currencies are on the fringe and seek legitimization. Being regulated is a clear sign of impact.

BitCoin enthusiasts mostly cheered on the news, even though for many, mainstream regulation and economy is something they oppose.

Wall Street is on the fence about this. The banks are given another product they can trade, but at the cost of possible loss of control in that market. Banks sit as members of the Federal Reserve Banks, making them part of the money supply. Digital currencies are decentralized and if there is a center of power for them, it would be Silicon Valley.


About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses. He is the author of the forthcoming book Money Laundering: How criminals got paid and got away.


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FFIEC Means Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council

The Council is a formal interagency body empowered to prescribe uniform principles, standards, and report forms for the federal examination of financial institutions by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and to make recommendations to promote uniformity in the supervision of financial institutions. In 2006, the State Liaison Committee (SLC) was added to the Council as a voting member. The SLC includes representatives from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), the American Council of State Savings Supervisors (ACSSS), and the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS). – FFIEC

FFIEC, recently, has been very much focused on information technology and cybercrime resilience.


About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.


CAR Mean Capital Adequacy Ratio

Capital Adequacy Ratio is both a calculation and a standard. The calculation is:
(Tier 1 Capital + Tier 2 Capital) ÷ Risk Weighted Assets

The standard is 10%.

Accounting becomes very important in the final steps of this calculation because of the classification defined by Basel III.

  • Tier 1 Capital are common stock, retained earnings and non-redeemable preferred stock.
  • Tier 2 Capital are subordinated debt, hybrid instruments, revaluation reserves and undisclosed reserves.
Photoshopped image of Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board

Essentially, Tier 1 are what most people think of as shares of a corporation and what the bank has earned and retained over the years. Retaining the earnings rather than using it to provide dividends is a way to increase the assets of the organization, build a reserve to be deployed when needed. Tier 2 are preferred equity and long term debt the bank borrows, leverage.

The Capital is there to fund the business when business takes a sudden downturn. The 10% standard means that business can suddenly take a 10% dive and the bank will still be solvent. When CAR is 0%, the bank must start selling its assets to pay for its debts. One way to reduce the likelihood of avoiding this level is to be able to deploy borrowed funds that are due later to pay for the ones that are due currently. While this doesn’t mean the bank is healthy, but this gives the bank time to rebuild its reserves.


About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.


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CCAR Means Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review

The Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) is an annual exercise by the Federal Reserve to assess whether the largest bank holding companies operating in the United States have sufficient capital to continue operations throughout times of economic and financial stress and that they have robust, forward-looking capital-planning processes that account for their unique risks.
As part of this exercise, the Federal Reserve evaluates institutions’ capital adequacy, internal capital adequacy assessment processes, and their individual plans to make capital distributions, such as dividend payments or stock repurchases. – United States Federal Reserve

Regions covered by the Federal Reserve Banks
Regions covered by the Federal Reserve Banks

There is no one who has had a career is CCAR because it was only created in 2010 and first performed in 2011. Previous to this exercise, a similar assessment was done under the name of Supervisory Capital Assessment Program (SCAP). It was performed once in 2009. SCAP was inspiration for CCAR, which is not performed yearly in the first quarter. The Federal reserve are in constant discussions about the test during the process and provides a previous of the assessment in March to the banks that are involved in the assessment. There are 31 banks that must participate in CCAR. Participation primarily has to do with size and market reach because CCAR is testing the financial system’s ability avoid a bank crisis.


About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.


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Hybrid Securities are debt securities with traits borrowed from equities

Hybrid securities are securities that have features of both debt and equity.

Wall Street 1929
Wall Street 1929

The classic example of a hybrid instrument is a convertible bond. This is, generally, a corporate bond with a condition attached to it. This condition states that if the equity shares of the corporation issuing the bond hits a certain valuation in the market, the bondholder will be allowed to exchange the bond for a certain number of shares. The number of shares is determined by the bond’s principal value, which is almost always $1000, and how many shares that principal could buy. For a buyer of bonds, this reduces the risk of losing out on exposure to equity if the issuing corporation does very well, without losing the status of a bond, which, as a debt, will be paid back before assets are distributed to non-debt liability holders. For the issuing corporation, usually the bonds hold a slightly lower interest rate than it would otherwise.


About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.


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RWA Mean Risk Weighted Assets

http://corpoinsider.blog.com/2012/11/04/credit-suisse-going-under-extreme-model-makeover/
Suisse 1 Kilo Fine Gold

Risk Weighted Assets is more of a concept than an asset. When a bank lends money, there is a chance some of it will not be paid back. The “some” that might not be paid back is the RWA. The Capital Adequacy Requirement (CAR) requires banks to maintain a Risk-Based Capital Ratio. This is a simple calculation of dividing Regulatory Capital with RWA. Regulatory Capital is the amount of Tier 1 and 2 capital a bank is required to possess at all times. Ideally, a bank would like to have a high Regulatory Capital and low RWA. The risk weights inflate bank assets. While larger assets are considered a good thing on the balance sheet, generally, in this case it is not. RWA valuation is not used to meet the SEC filing requirements. It is used to meet the Basel III requirements. There are 26 classifications of assets with varying risks. Each classification requires the bank to multiply assets by a Basel II prescribed risk weight.

Conceptually, here is what RWA looks like:
The bank lends $100 to a borrower. This particular type of loan with this type of borrower has a significant chance of getting but just $95. Because the risk of lose if $5, the $100 is multiplied by 105%. For this $100 loan, it is a $105 RWA. Banks are required to hold 1/10 in the Risk-Based Capital Ratio. Without the RWA, the bank would have to hold $10 (1/10=$10/$100). But since the $100 is being changed to an RWA of $105, the bank now has to hold $10.50 (1/10=$10.5/$105).

Resources


About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.


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