Unlike most nonfinancial corporations, in a market-based economy, banks are subject to a special regime of licensing, regulation, and supervision (hereinafter also “prudential regulation”). In a market-based economy, the function of banks differs from that of other enterprises, calling for special treatment of banks by the state.
Banks require a strong legal framework providing certainty concerning their rights and obligations under the law and permitting them to enforce their financial claims expeditiously and effectively against counterparties in default. Conversely, weaknesses in the legal system that create uncertainties concerning the existence and enforceability of property rights increase the risk that, as debtors hiding behind such weaknesses default on their obligations, banks will not be able to collect on their claims. Inefficiencies in the judicial processing of financial claims by banks may inhibit the marketing of financial assets and reduce their value; this often results in unhealthy accumulations of nonperforming assets on banks’ balance sheets, weakening the banking system as a whole. Meanwhile, banks will cover these risks and market inefficiencies in the form of higher charges, creating upward pressure on transaction costs throughout the economy.
Regulatory intervention includes all action taken by the bank regulator with respect to a bank in response to continuing violations of prudential law (banking law, implementing regulations, etc.) on the part of that bank. Thereby, the bank regulator intervenes directly or indirectly in the bank’s management and operations.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper evaluates the risks and vulnerabilities of the German financial system and reviews both the German regulatory and supervisory framework and implementation of the common European framework insofar as it is relevant for Germany. The country is home to two global systemically important financial institutions, Deutsche Bank AG and Allianz SE. The system is also very heterogeneous, with a range of business models and a large number of smaller banks and insurers. The regulatory landscape has changed profoundly with strengthened solvency and liquidity regulations for banks (the EU Capital Requirements Regulation and Directive IV), and the introduction of macroprudential tools.
The Belgium Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) stress testing exercise examines a financial sector that remains in a state of transformation. Domestic economic challenges remain sources of continued uncertainty as the banking sector consolidates and reduces funding risks. Insurers face challenges from adverse economic and business conditions. Solvency and funding shocks under different macroeconomic scenarios were assessed. Both banking and insurance tests underscore the importance of sovereign risk for financial stability. The implementation of stress tests needs to be closely aligned with the resolution and recovery planning.
This report presents a Detailed Assessment of the Observance of the Insurance Core Principles Report on Jersey. Other than the international business, most cover is obtained from insurers based overseas by the large insurance broker community on the island. There is no ombudsman and no policyholder compensation arrangements for insurance business on the island. Jersey has its own company’s legislation, but has no local accounting or actuarial standard-setting bodies and it looks to other jurisdictions, especially the United Kingdom, for its framework of accounting, auditing, and actuarial standards.
In today's financial system, complex financial institutions are connected through an opaque network of financial exposures. These connections contribute to financial deepening and greater savings allocation efficiency, but are also unstable channels of contagion. Basel III and Solvency II should improve the stability of these connections, but could have unintended consequences for cost of capital, funding patterns, interconnectedness, and risk migration.
Mr. Andreas A. Jobst, Ms. Li L Ong, and Mr. Christian Schmieder
The global financial crisis has placed the spotlight squarely on bank stress tests. Stress tests conducted in the lead-up to the crisis, including those by IMF staff, were not always able to identify the right risks and vulnerabilities. Since then, IMF staff has developed more robust stress testing methods and models and adopted a more coherent and consistent approach. This paper articulates the solvency stress testing framework that is being applied in the IMF’s surveillance of member countries’ banking systems, and discusses examples of its actual implementation in FSAPs to 18 countries which are in the group comprising the 25 most systemically important financial systems (“S-25”) plus other G-20 countries. In doing so, the paper also offers useful guidance for readers seeking to develop their own stress testing frameworks and country authorities preparing for FSAPs. A detailed Stress Test Matrix (STeM) comparing the stress test parameters applie in each of these major country FSAPs is provided, together with our stress test output templates.
What is the role of central banks in ensuring financial stability? This paper addresses this controversial subject, in part by drawing on the experiences in Europe, Japan, and the United States, and by examining four questions. What is meant by financial stability? Do central banks have a natural role in ensuring financial stability? What does a central bank need to execute this role effectively? How far have central banks actually gone in safeguarding financial stability? The experience drawn on in the paper suggest that central banks: have a natural role to play; at times may require supervisory information to execute this natural role; and have incurred risks to their balance sheets to ensure financial stability.
Banks may be unable to refinance short-term liabilities in case of solvency concerns. To manage this risk, banks can accumulate a buffer of liquid assets, or strengthen transparency to communicate solvency. While a liquidity buffer provides complete insurance against small shocks, transparency covers also large shocks but imperfectly. Due to leverage, an unregulated bank may choose insufficient liquidity buffers and transparency. The regulatory response is constained: while liquidity buffers can be imposed, transparency is not verifiable. Moreover, liquidity requirements can compromise banks' transparency choices, and increase refinancing risk. To be effective, liquidity requirements should be complemented by measures that increase bank incentives to adopt transparency.