The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
In this paper, we provide an overview of the concerns surrounding the variations in the calculation of risk-weighted assets (RWAs) across banks and jurisdictions and how this might undermine the Basel III capital adequacy framework. We discuss the key drivers behind the differences in these calculations, drawing upon a sample of systemically important banks from Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. We then discuss a range of policy options that could be explored to fix the actual and perceived problems with RWAs, and improve the use of risk-sensitive capital ratios.