Industry Insights

NSFR – A reality check

Introduction

The Basel Committee indicated several years ago that it wants the NSFR to become “a minimum standard by 1 January 2018 ”. With that apparent deadline looming, now seems a good time to assess where matters stand on this key post crisis reform to the banking sector.

The story so far

At the international level it was in 2010 The Basel Committee published its Consultative Document on the NSFR, describing it as “one of the….Committee’s key reforms to promote a more resilient banking sector”. The Document explained the underlying objective: to reduce funding risk over a longer time horizon (contrast LCR) by requiring banks to fund their activities with sufficiently stable sources of funding in order to mitigate the risk of future funding stress. The NSFR would limit overreliance on short-term wholesale funding, encourage better assessment of funding risk across the balance sheet, and promote funding stability. Designed as complementary to the LCR, the NSFR was described by the Committee as a “significant component of the Basel III reforms”. The January 2018 timetable was set…

At the European level regulatory work on the NSFR progressed alongside the Committee’s consultation process. The CRR, introduced in 2013 as part of CRDIV, did several things: it imposed the NSFR COREP reporting obligation; imposed a very general requirement that long-term assets have to be adequately met with a diversity of stable funding instruments; set a timetable for the introduction of a legislative proposal on a European NSFR; and it recognised that domestic regulators could apply interim stable funding requirements in the meantime.
The story continued when the European Commission issued a draft Regulation in Nov 2016 . Amongst other things that draft Regulation introduces detailed rules on a binding harmonised EU NSFR; but envisages the ratio applying from two years after the Regulation itself comes into force (whenever that will be).

Meanwhile at the domestic UK level the PRA has not to date published anything specific on the NSFR, with more of a current focus on PILLAR 2.

An immediate observation: timing

Relevant institutions continue to submit COREP NSFR returns, and remain subject to the general CRR stable funding requirement.  But what’s the significance of the Basel Committee’s Jan ’18 timetable ? Whatever the Committee envisaged happening at that time it is looking increasingly unlikely UK institutions will become subject to any binding new NSFR. At the European level the draft Regulation issued last November in its current form clearly works to a much more extended timetable. So in the absence of some immediate burst of European or domestic regulatory activity nothing much in this space will change on 1 January 2018…

Getting more granular…

But there is also a very much more real world dimension: the COREP template returns do not contain any statement of the reporting institution’s ratio, and careful review reveals those templates are insufficiently granular to enable an accurate calculation of the ratio per the standard’s rules. For example:

  • the standard applies various specific rules in relation to the treatment of encumbered assets; the COREP templates however are insufficiently granular to show the data required to apply these rules – for example, the proportion of 35% RWA which are encumbered.
  • initial margin in relation to a derivative transaction receives a certain treatment under the ratio calculation however the COREP template does not accommodate any data specifically on initial margin, so again does not permit accurate calculation of this component within the ratio.

So until the reporting requirements are amended the regulator is receiving neither a statement of the submitting institution’s ratio nor the data required to calculate it in accordance with the standard. (The Commission has stated the EBA will develop draft implementing standards “to harmonise NSFR reporting requirements”.)

An ALMIS solution

Having considered these deficiencies in the COREP templates we have devised a solution within the ALMIS system to assist clients. We have enhanced the ALMIS NSFR Report to permit the inclusion of the more granular data required to calculate the ratio correctly; and that greater granularity introduced into the ALMIS NSFR Report permits the user also, using a new template tool in our Report Writer, to calculate the ratio accurately in accordance with the standard. This tool is wholly configurable by the client, allowing for example the selection of chosen RSF and ASF factors in relation to asset or liability categories. Where a client is already fully utilising the ALMIS Capital Adequacy, Liquidity and Regulatory Reporting functionality, no additional data will be required. It is intended that this new template, underpinned by the same single source of data used across the ALMIS system, will become a robust and practical MI tool to support decisions by ALCOs until the regulatory regime eventually settles reporting procedures which demonstrate compliance with the applicable ratio. (The ALMIS functionality will of course continue also to autopopulate the existing COREP NSFR template; and will be developed in line with the new template when it is finally published.)

Conclusions

The NSFR is an important part of banking reform following the banking crisis. It favours stable retail and wholesale funding over short term wholesale. The key principles have been established and a deadline has been set. However the reporting detail and EU regulation has not yet been finalised and therefore it looks almost certain the 1 January 2018 deadline will be missed. Firms can however still calculate and therefore monitor and prepare for the introduction of the NSFR as a minimum standard sometime after 1 January 2018.

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