What are BASEL 1, 2 and 3 norms? What are the basic differences between these norms?

economy :basel norms

Answer by Vinod Gattani:

The Background of the Basel norms: (Why it come into picture)

On 26 June 1974, a number of banks had released payment of Deutsche Marks (DEM – German Currency at that time) to Herstatt ( Based out of Cologne, Germany) in Frankfurt in exchange for US Dollars (USD) that was to be delivered in New York. Because of time-zone differences, Herstatt ceased operations between the times of the respective payments. German regulators forced the troubled Bank Herstatt into liquidation.The counter party banks did not receive their USD payments. Responding to the cross-jurisdictional implications of the Herstatt debacle, the G-10 countries, Spain and Luxembourg formed a standing committee in 1974 under the auspices of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), called the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Since BIS is headquartered in Basel, this committee got its name from there. The committee comprises representatives from central banks and regulatory authorities.

Basel I:

In 1988, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) in Basel, Switzerland, published a set of minimum capital requirements for banks.These were known as Basel I. It focused almost entirely on credit risk (default risk) – the risk of counter party failure. It defined  capital requirement and structure of risk weights for banks.

Under these norms:Assets of banks were classified and grouped in five categories according to credit risk, carrying risk weights of 0%(Cash, Bullion, Home Country Debt Like Treasuries), 10, 20, 50 and100% and no rating. Banks with an international presence are required to hold capital equal to 8% of their risk-weighted assets (RWA) – At least, 4% in Tier I Capital (Equity Capital + retained earnings) and more than 8% in Tier I and Tier II Capital. Target – By 1992.

One of the major role of Basel norms is to standardize the banking practice across all countries. However, there are major problems with definition of Capital and Differential Risk Weights to Assets across countries, like Basel  standards are computed on the  basis  of book-value accounting measures of capital, not market values.   Accounting practices vary significantly across the G-10 countries and  often  produce results that differ markedly from market assessments.

Other problem was that the risk weights do not attempt to take  account of risks other than credit  risk, viz., market risks, liquidity  risk and operational risks that may  be important sources of insolvency  exposure for banks.

Basel II:

So, Basel II was introduced in 2004, laid down guidelines for capital adequacy (with more refined definitions), risk management (Market Risk and Operational Risk) and disclosure requirements.

– use of external ratings  agencies to set the risk weights for corporate, bank and sovereign claims.

– Operational risk has been defined as the   risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes,  people and  systems or from external events. This definition includes  legal risk, but  excludes strategic and reputation risk, whereby legal  risk includes exposures to fines, penalties,  or punitive damages resulting  from supervisory actions, as well as  private settlements. There are complex methods to calculate this risk.

– disclosure  requirements allow market participants  assess the capital  adequacy of the institution based on information on the  scope of  application,  capital, risk exposures, risk assessment processes, etc.

Basel III:

It is widely felt that  the shortcoming in Basel II norms is what led to the global financial  crisis of 2008. That is because Basel II did not have any explicit  regulation on the debt that banks could take on their books, and focused  more on individual financial institutions, while ignoring systemic  risk. To ensure that banks don’t take on excessive debt, and that they  don’t rely too much on short term funds, Basel III norms were proposed  in 2010.

–  The guidelines aim to promote a more resilient banking system by  focusing on four vital banking parameters viz. capital, leverage,  funding and liquidity.

– Requirements for common equity and Tier 1 capital will be 4.5% and 6%, respectively.

– The liquidity coverage ratio(LCR) will require banks to hold a buffer of high quality liquid assets sufficient to deal with the cash outflows encountered in an acute short term stress scenario as specified by supervisors. The minimum
LCR requirement will be to reach 100% on 1 January 2019. This is to prevent situations like "Bank Run".

–  Leverage Ratio > 3%:The leverage ratio was calculated by dividing Tier 1 capital by the bank's average total consolidated assets;.

…more to follow

What are BASEL 1, 2 and 3 norms? What are the basic differences between these norms?


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