Mr. John C Caparusso, Ms. Yingyuan Chen, Mr. Peter Dattels, Rohit Goel, and Paul Hiebert
The Global Financial Crisis unleashed changes in the operating and regulatory environments for large international banks. This paper proposes a novel taxonomy to identify and track business model evolution for the 30 Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs). Drawing from banks’ reporting, it identifies strategies along four dimensions –consolidated lines of business and geographic orientation, and the funding models and legal entity structures of international operations. G-SIBs have adjusted their business models, especially by reducing market intensity. While G-SIBs have maintained international orientation, pressures on funding models and entity structures could affect the efficiency of capital flows through the bank channel.
This study investigates the nonlinear relationship between public debt and sovereign credit ratings, using a wide sample of over one hundred advanced, emerging, and developing economies. It finds that: i) higher public debt lowers the probability of being placed in a higher rating category; ii) the negative debt-ratings relationship is nonlinear and depends on the rating grade itself; and iii) the identified nonlinearity explains the differential impact of debt on ratings in advanced economies versus in emerging markets and developing economies. These results hold for both gross debt and net debt, and are robust to alternative dependent variable definitions, analytical techniques, and empirical specifications. These findings underscore the potential for fiscal consolidation in helping countries achieve a better credit rating.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note discusses the findings and recommendations in the Financial Sector Assessment Program for Sweden in the areas of regulation and supervision of cross-border securities activities. The Finansinspektionen (Financial Supervisory Authority, FI) should review the consumer protection area’s activities to assess where the current consumer protection focus should be complemented with explicit consideration of financial stability risks. Improvements in data availability and better analysis tools would improve the FI’s ability to analyze risks and plan its supervisory activities. Enhancements to cross-border supervisory cooperation and active participation in the work of the European Securities and Markets Authority are also necessary complements to the FI’s current active domestic supervisory program.
Consumer protection and financial literacy are essential pillars of a well functioning and stable financial system. As the global financial crisis demonstrated, inadequate attention to consumer protection and financial literacy can lead to financial instability. Though Shari’ah principles provide a strong foundation for consumer protection, the principles alone cannot provide adequate protection because not all providers are guided by ethical precepts and the practices have deviated from the principles. To safeguard the stability of the Islamic finance industry, consumer protection frameworks that cater to the specifics of Islamic financial products should be an integral part of regulatory frameworks.
In March 2009, the Fund established a new Framework Administered Account to administer external financial resources for selected Fund activities (the “SFA Instrument”). The financing of activities under the terms of the SFA Instrument is implemented through the establishment and operation of a subaccount within the SFA. This paper requests Executive Board approval to establish the Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center West 2 (AFRITAC West 2) Subaccount (the “AFRITAC West 2 Subaccount” or the “Subaccount”) under the terms of the SFA Instrument.
In March 2009, the Fund adopted the Instrument to establish a new Framework Administered Account to administer external financial resources for Selected Fund Activities (the “SFA Instrument”).1 The financing of activities under the terms of the SFA Instrument is implemented through the establishment and operation of subaccounts. This paper requests Executive Board approval to establish the Government of Australia Subaccount for Selected Fund Activities (the “Subaccount”) under the terms of the SFA Instrument.
Traditional bank competition policy seeks to balance efficiency with incentives to take risk. The main tools are rules guiding entry/exit and consolidation of banks. This paper seeks to refine this view in light of recent changes to financial services provision. Modern banking is largely market-based and contestable. Consequently, banks in advanced economies today have structurally low charter values and high incentives to take risk. In such an environment, traditional policies that seek to affect the degree of competition by focusing on market structure (i.e. concentration) may have limited effect. We argue that bank competition policy should be reoriented to deal with the too-big-to-fail (TBTF) problem. It should also focus on the permissible scope of activities rather than on market structure of banks. And following a crisis, competition policy should facilitate resolution by temporarily allowing higher concentration and government control of banks.
Mr. John Kiff, Michael Kisser, and Miss Liliana B Schumacher
Credit rating agencies face a difficult trade-off between delivering both accurate and stable ratings. In particular, its users have consistently expressed a preference for rating stability, driven by the transactions costs induced by trading when ratings change frequently. Rating agencies generally assign ratings on a through-the-cycle basis whereas banks' internal valuations are often based on a point-in-time performance, that is they are related to the current value of the rated entity's or instrument's underlying assets. This paper compares the two approaches and assesses their impact on rating stability and accuracy. We find that while through-the-cycle ratings are initially more stable, they are prone to rating cliff effects and also suffer from inferior performance in predicting future defaults. This is because they are typically smooth and delay rating changes. Using a through-the-crisis methodology that uses a more stringent stress test goes halfway toward mitigating cliff effects, but is still prone to discretionary rating change delays.
We study the effects of a bank's engagement in trading. Traditional banking is relationship-based: not scalable, long-term oriented, with high implicit capital, and low risk (thanks to the law of large numbers). Trading is transactions-based: scalable, shortterm, capital constrained, and with the ability to generate risk from concentrated positions. When a bank engages in trading, it can use its ‘spare’ capital to profitablity expand the scale of trading. However, there are two inefficiencies. A bank may allocate too much capital to trading ex-post, compromising the incentives to build relationships ex-ante. And a bank may use trading for risk-shifting. Financial development augments the scalability of trading, which initially benefits conglomeration, but beyond some point inefficiencies dominate. The deepending of the financial markets in recent decades leads trading in banks to become increasingly risky, so that problems in managing and regulating trading in banks will persist for the foreseeable future. The analysis has implications for capital regulation, subsidiarization, and scope and scale restrictions in banking.
The level of a bank‘s capitalization can effectively transmit information about its riskiness and therefore support market discipline, but asymmetry information may induce exaggerated or distortionary behavior: banks may vie with one another to signal confidence in their prospects by keeping capitalization low, and banks‘ creditors often cannot distinguish among them - tendencies that can be seen across banks and across time. Prudential policy is warranted to help offset these tendencies.