Capital Still Scarce, Finds Basel Committee Study

A capital shortfall is still evident, according to the Basel Committee's latest Basel III monitoring exercise. 


The study is based on rigorous reporting processes set up by the committee to periodically review the implications of the Basel III standards for financial markets, and ultimately their corporate clients. The results of previous exercises in this series were published in April 2012 and September 2012.


A total of 210 banks participated in the current study, comprising 101 Group 1 banks (i.e. those that have Tier 1 capital in excess of €3bn and are internationally active) and 109 Group 2 banks (all other banks).


While the Basel III capital adequacy framework sets out transitional arrangements to implement the new standards, the monitoring exercise results assume full implementation of the final Basel III package based on data as of 30 June 2012 (i.e. they do not take account of the transitional arrangements such as the phase-in of deductions from regulatory capital). No assumptions were made about bank profitability or behavioural responses, such as changes in bank capital or balance sheet composition. For that reason, the results of the study are not comparable to industry estimates.


Based on data as of 30 June 2012 and applying the changes to the definition of capital and risk-weighted assets, the average Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio (CET1) of Group 1 banks was 8.5%, as compared with the Basel III minimum requirement of 4.5%. In order for all Group 1 banks to reach the 4.5% minimum, an increase of €3.7bn in CET1 would be required.


The overall shortfall increases to €208.2bn to achieve a CET1 target level of 7.0% (i.e. including the capital conservation buffer); this amount includes the surcharge for global systemically important banks where applicable.


As a point of reference, the sum of profits after tax and prior to distributions across the same sample of Group 1 banks between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2012 was €379.6bn.


Compared to the December 2011 exercise, the aggregate CET1 shortfall with respect to the 4.5% inimum for Group 1 banks has fallen by €8.2bn. At the CET1 target level of 7.0%, the aggregate CET1 shortfall for Group 1 banks has fallen by €175.9bn.


For Group 2 banks, the average CET1 ratio stood at 9.0%. In order for all Group 2 banks in the sample to meet the new 4.5% CET1 ratio, the additional capital needed is estimated to be €4.8bn. Banks in this group would have required an additional €16.0bn to reach a CET1 target of 7.0%; the sum of these banks’ profits after tax and prior to distributions between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2012 was €22.9bn.


The Basel Committee recently revised its liquidity coverage ratio (LCR), a key element of the Basel III framework.


Given these revisions, precise LCR results could not be calculated based on the data collected as of June 2012. However, LCR results will be presented in the report on December 2012 data. The weighted average of the other Basel III liquidity standard - the net stable funding ratio - was 99% for Group 1 banks and 100% for Group 2 banks. The Committee is currently reviewing the net stable funding ratio (NSFR), which will be a priority over the next two years.