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99.9% – really?

  • Kiema, Ilkka

    ()

    (University of Helsinki)

  • Jokivuolle, Esa

    ()

    (Bank of Finland Research)

Registered author(s):

    The aim of the Internal Ratings Based Approach (IRBA) of Basel II was that capital suffices for unexpected losses with at least a 99.9% probability. However, because only a fraction of the required regulatory capital (a quarter to a half) had to be loss absorbing capital, the actual solvency probabilities may have been much lower, as the global financial crisis illustrates. Our estimates suggest that under Basel II IRBA the loss-absorbing capital of an average-quality portfolio bank suffices for unexpected losses with a 95%-99% probability. This translates into an expected bank failure rate as high as once in twenty years. Even if the bank's interest income is incorporated into our model, the expected failure rate is still substantial. We show that the expected failure rate increases with loan portfolio riskiness. Our calculations may be viewed as a measure of regulatory "self-delusion" included in Basel II capital requirements.

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    File URL: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/julkaisut/tutkimukset/keskustelualoitteet/Documents/BoF_DP_1325.pdf
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    Paper provided by Bank of Finland in its series Research Discussion Papers with number 25/2013.

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    Length: 42 pages
    Date of creation: 09 Oct 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofrdp:2013_025
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Bank of Finland, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
    Web page: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/

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    1. Gordy, Michael B., 2003. "A risk-factor model foundation for ratings-based bank capital rules," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 199-232, July.
    2. Chiappori, P.A. & Perez-Castrillo, D. & Verdier, T., 1992. "Spatial Competition in the Banking System: Localization, Cross Subsidies and the Regulation of Deposit Rates," DELTA Working Papers 92-15, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    3. Gordy, Michael B., 2000. "A comparative anatomy of credit risk models," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 119-149, January.
    4. Robert Hauswald & Robert Marquez, 2006. "Competition and Strategic Information Acquisition in Credit Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(3), pages 967-1000.
    5. Repullo, Rafael & Suarez, Javier, 2004. "Loan pricing under Basel capital requirements," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 496-521, October.
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