Origins of Canadian Banking

The financial crisis of 2007-2008 triggered a worldwide recession. The American and European banking systems experienced massive losses, takeovers, and taxpayer-funded bailouts.  Lehman Brothers, Northern Rock, European debt crisis, … and the after-effects are still being felt. Canada’s banking system did have some shaky moments, as a recently published analysis of its asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) predicament showed. On the whole, however, Canada’s banks withstood the financial crisis relatively well and the financial system maintained its liquidity, solvency, and profitability.   The history of the divergence in the Canadian and American banking systems is recounted in a new book. From […]

Central Clearing Design

If you had to design a central clearinghouse for transactions in financial markets, what size of guarantees should be offered? And what percentage fees should be charged? “The central clearing modifies the market,” said Andreea Minca, “because the old network structure [of one-to-one] is changing to a new ‘star’ structure.” Minca is Assistant Professor at the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering at Cornell University and was the sole presenter at the December 6, 2016, webinar on systemic risk and central clearing design to members of the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). Under new US legislation, all over-the-counter […]

Stress Testing Mortgages. Part 2

The team of Scott L. Smith, Jesse Weiher, and Debra Fuller at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) use specialized financial models to estimate potential losses. They carried out empirical tests of countercyclical shocks using four different models of mortgage credit risk. This posting continues a February 4, 2015, presentation by Scott L. Smith to an audience of financial risk managers at Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). Two models were devised at FHFA, and two are commercially available credit models: one, called Black Knight (formerly LPS-AA), and the other called ADCO Loan Dynamics. The estimated losses were converted to a capital […]

Stress Testing Mortgages. Part 1

“One needs to be careful and not over-reliant on any one model,” said Scott L. Smith, Associate Director for Capital Policy at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). He was referring to the financial models used by major financial institutions to estimate potential losses. On February 4, 2015, he was presenting a GARP-sponsored webinar on countercyclical stress tests to set capital requirements. Smith explained how credit risk is measured for mortgages, and described a way to embed stress testing that uses countercyclical concepts. He and colleague Jesse Weiher, Senior Economist at FHFA, performed dynamic stress testing that was adjusted to […]

Public vs Private Banks in India and China

“Public sector banks perform worse than private banks In India whereas there is no significant performance difference for the two sectors in China,” said Dr. Rajan Singenellore, Global Head of the Default Risk and Valuation Group at Bloomberg. He gave an overview of operational performance and credit risk trends in Banking in Emerging Markets, and was the third of three webinar panellists on November 20, 2014, organized by the Global Association of Risk Professionals. For both countries, Singenellore compared government-owned banks with private sector banks. The terminology is different: India has public sector undertakings (PSU) banks whereas China has state-owned […]

“Expect More Niche Customer Targeting”

In India and China, “large state-owned banks often have a significant constraint on their ability to manage liabilities,” said Professor Moorad Choudhry from the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Brunel University and author of Principles of Banking.  He was the second of three panellists at the webinar Banking in Emerging Markets held on November 20, 2014, organized by the Global Association of Risk Professionals, and his role was to describe “operational realities.” The 2018 advent of new Basel III rules for capital and liquidity requires 100 percent compliance with new rules on the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) and the net […]

“Lending Will Be Marketing Gimmick”

“Commercial banks will become less interested in providing loans,” said Dr. Michael C. S. Wong, the first panellist in a webinar on Banking in Emerging Markets held November 20, 2014, and sponsored by the Global Association of Risk Professionals. He is Associate Professor of Finance at City University of Hong Kong, and Chairman at CTRISKS Rating. Wong summarized the challenges of the new Basel III regulatory regime, with its tougher capitalization and liquidity requirements. A global systemically important bank (G-SIB) will have additional capital and cash-holding requirements, he said, and “will be unwilling to make loans.” China has one G-SIB and four […]

Basel III Standardized: the Holistic Approach

“Banks need technology to help with Basel IIII compliance because moving from Basel I to Basel III is a quantum jump,” said Tom Kimner, Head of Americas Risk Practice at SAS Institute. He was the second of two panellists at a webinar held on September 16, 2014, organized by the Global Association of Risk Professionals to discuss the Basel III Standardized Approach for mid-tier banks. Kimner began by outlining five key issues to Basel III compliance: Data Structure and Validation – The data on credit exposures necessary for capital calculations needs to be cleaned and transformed. “An entire body of work […]

Basel III Standardized: Avoid the Showstopper

“If you can’t comply, it could be a showstopper,” said Henry Fields, Partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP, who was the first of two panellists at a webinar held on September 16, 2014, organized by the Global Association of Risk Professionals. The purpose of the webinar was to discuss the Basel III Standardized Approach for mid-tier banks (assets of over $500 million), and Fields began by giving an overview. The potential “showstopper” would be non-compliance with the new rules for risk weights for assets that are scheduled to come into effect January 1, 2015. “When the Fed issued the [new] […]

Risk Ratings 2. “Hundreds of Spreadsheets”

“There were hundreds of different spreadsheet templates floating around,” said Christopher Hansert, Product Manager at Bosch Software Innovations, and the second of two presenters at a GARP webinar on the impact of new capital rules on risk ratings, held June 24, 2014. He presented a case study of an unnamed US commercial bank. Due to an acquisition during the period of regulatory change, he said that the bank had a “heterogeneous set of platforms, models, and inconsistent ratings. They wanted one robust and centralized” risk rating system. Inconsistencies in the risk rating process increased the likelihood of error, Hansert pointed […]