Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Regulatory Guidelines for UK Banks on Risk Assessment



Bank of England
According to the reports the Banks in Britain are getting prepared for one of the most anticipated news at present. With the declaration of new regulatory guidelines from the Bank of England, all the banks are expecting that they might have to raise any extra capital to meet these guidelines.

This can have serious negative impact on the customers in terms of their cost of borrowing from the banks. Thread needle Street is expected to give out the details on the methods for setting leverage ratio and this will be given on Friday around 2PM GMT.

Leverage ratio is the method which measures the financial stability and strength of a particular brand, but this doesn’t allow the banks to carry out any assessments of the potential risks that they might face in the future.

Sir John Vickers, who chaired the independent commission on banking, in the year 2011 had recommended that having a 4% leverage ratio will allow the banks to able to borrow nearly 25 times more than the value of their assets.

This recommendation was not readily acceptable to the Government as they were looking for a more convenient ratio of around 3%. But still the Bank of England consulted others to determine the different means to measure the leverage ratio, they have analyzed if the bank need bigger lenders to hold their capital or they can rely on the smaller lenders as well.

They consulted as to how the banks can gain the ability to additional amounts depending on the market conditions. Although this is expected to take complete coverage in the next couple of years, but the lenders are pretty much ready to the leverage ratio of 4%. While the regulators United States of America have set the level as high as 6%, Switzerland has set a ratio of 4 percent for their banks.

According to George Culmer, the finance director at Lloyds’, he is expecting the leverage ratio is to start with 4% itself. At present Lloyds Banking Group has reached the leverage at 4.7% when compared to the 3.8% last year.

On the other hand Barclays Banks have managed to reach 3.5% and the Royal bank of Scotland is at 3.9%. All the high street banks are taking possible measures to reach the set leverage ratio. With the leverage ratio starting at 4%, one needs to worry about the pricing factor.

According to the British Bankers’ Association, they fear that this change might impact the banks first as they might be dealing with businesses having large mortgages.

This will have the impact in such a way that the banks might be forced to either increase the cost of new mortgages as well the risk taking ability of the banks. This seems to be going in exact opposite direction to what the makers of the policy have in mind.

This was the main reason which attributed to the change of high end societies to bank in the past couple of decades.

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