Die COVID-19 Pandemie hat im Jahr 2020 die Realwirtschaft in einem bislang unbekannten Maße getroffen und die Widerstandsfähigkeit europäischer Banken auf eine harte Probe gestellt. Dank der koordinierten Reaktion von Regulatoren und Aufsehern (z.B. EBA mit COVID-19 bedingten Zahlungsmoratorien, EZB-Maßnahmen zur Kapital- und Liquiditätserleichterung, CRR II Quick Fix und die Verschiebung von Basel IV) konnte der Bankensektor die Krise bisher verhältnismäßig gut durchstehen und auch die Realwirtschaft weiterhin stützen. Dennoch hat die Krise ihre Spuren hinterlassen, sodass die Steuerung von Kreditrisiken wenig überraschend auf Agendapunkt 1 der SSM-Prioritäten der EZB für das Jahr 2021 steht. Daneben werden aber auch weitere Herausforderungen adressiert, die aufgrund der Pandemie ein wenig aus dem Fokus gerückt sind – von den Auswirkungen der Digitalisierung bis hin zur Behandlung von Klimarisiken.
In guter Tradition möchten wir uns auch in diesem Jahr wieder mit einigen persönlichen Gedanken in eine kurze Winterpause verabschieden. Die ersten drei Teile unserer “Regulatory im Advent”-Serie haben bereits zurückgeblickt auf die großen Herausforderungen, die die COVID-19 Pandemie mit sich gebracht hat, und einen ersten Ausblick auf den schon jetzt vollgepackten regulatorischen Kalender des Jahres 2021 gewagt.
Mit der Vorweihnachtszeit wird auch eine Zeit der Besinnung und des Reflektierens eingeläutet. Neigt sich das Jahr tatsächlich schon wieder dem Ende entgegen? Was haben wir in diesem Jahr alles erlebt? Konnten wir unsere guten Vorsätze in die Tat umsetzen? Auch wir, das Team Regulatory Management von PwC Deutschland, hat sich einen Moment Ruhe gegönnt und mal zurückgeblickt auf ein ereignisreiches und sicher nicht ganz einfaches Jahr. Mit unserer vierteiligen Adventsreihe möchten wir einige regulatorische Highlights des Jahres 2020 herausgreifen, aber vor allem auch nach vorne schauen.
With the publication of the final methodology of the EU-wide stress test 2021 and the associated templates including draft guidelines, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has defined the methodological basis for the stress test in 2021. It is now up to the participating banks to understand the methodology, analyze the data requirements and identify possible gaps before the operational implementation of the stress test in January 2021.
After the bi-yearly EBA / ECB stress test was cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis at the beginning of 2020, it has now become finally clear that the exercise will be brought to an end in 2021. This has already been stated by the EBA on its homepage and was also included in the EBA’s 2021 work program. And also those banks that are part of the ECB’s rather than the EBA’s sample of participants have by now received the information that they are once again required to participate. Hence, it’s time to take again a closer look at the upcoming exercise and to get prepared for potential amendments due to the current economic and regulatory environment.
On June 2nd, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published a guideline with new reporting and disclosure templates to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on European banks. The revised templates are to be reported for the first time per June 30th, giving banks very limited time to implement the necessary changes.
The simulation of the impact of COVID-19 on regulatory capital ratios will be one of the biggest challenges in the next weeks for banks. Both board members and supervisors are keen on understanding how the crisis will impact the capital ratios over the next three years. Based on the discussions with our clients, and the many years experience in RWA calculation and simulation tools we developed: (please click on picture to open)
PwC Pandemic Analysis and Scenario Simulation tool
Minimum capital ratios
The following blog post is part of the overview of supervisory measures in reaction to the Corona crisis:Supervisory measures in reaction to the Corona crisis – Overview.
According to the ad hoc measures taken by the ECB, banks can fully use their capital buffers during this time of financial distress, including the Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) and the Pillar 2 Guidance (P2G). This means that banks are allowed to operate temporarily – until further notice – below the level of capital defined by the P2G and the CCB.
Besides, banks can partially use capital instruments that do not qualify as CET1 capital, e.g. Additional Tier 1 or Tier 2 instruments, to meet their Pillar 2 Requirement (P2R). This measure is effectively an early implementation of the standards laid down in CRD V that originally should entry into force in January 2021). Banks will therefore benefit from relief in the composition of capital for the P2R.
The following blog post is part of the overview of supervisory measures in reaction to the Corona crisis: Supervisory measures in reaction to the Corona crisis – Overview.
The Corona crisis affected banks not only in their daily business but also in their need to fulfil the regulatory requirements. Banks are now obviously confronted with a lot of open and urgent questions regarding specific regulatory issues. Therefore BaFin has set up a website with a comprehensive Q&A section around the regulatory issues in relation to the COVID-19 crisis and the countermeasures taken by the governments. The BaFin statements are directed to less significant institutions (LSI) in Germany. However, they might to some extent also serve as a guidance for significant institutions (SI) or banks in other jurisdictions, provided the statements are applicable and no contradicting statements were published by the respective competent authorities.
Since it is difficult to keep track with the frequently updated Q&As, we clustered and summarised BaFin’s most current key messages in the following section (as of April 22, 2020, to be updated continuously):
Closed factories and shops, cancelled events, travel bans, wide-ranging curfews – the Corona crisis turns out to have dangerous and sudden effects on the global economy. The dramatic meltdown of leading stock markets in recent weeks seems to reflect the fears of a long-lasting recession. For some people, this brings back bad memories of the financial crisis back in 2008. Although “this time is different” [credits to Reinhart/Rogoff], the financial sector is facing severe second-order effects, including:
- An unprecedented wave of distressed and defaulted clients leading to a sharp increase in loan loss provisions and thus serious P&L hits
- Deterioration and high volatility of prices for bonds and equities that serve, e.g. as liquid assets or collateral
Besides, banks themselves need to cope with multiple operational challenges resulting from the extensive shutdown, e.g. working from home as a trader within a highly regulated environment or managing ongoing on-site inspections and important implementation projects “remotely”.
Therefore, besides several short-term measures to support companies, employees and self-employed people, the governments and respective competent authorities also agreed on various temporary reliefs for banks to ensure that they “can continue to fulfil their role to fund households and corporations amid the coronavirus-related economic shock to the global economy” [ECB].
PwC is committed to to be side by side with our clients in these difficult times, in any way possible to support institutions deal with the many challenges they are facing. Part of this commitment includes informing our clients proactively and help to analyze the potential impact of this crisis and related measures. Through this Regulatory Blog, we will continuously provide you with updates on regulatory and supervisory measures and share our views on how these could affect banks. (this time only in English since we have a steadily growing number of international readers – thank you for your understanding!). Information in German on the impact on the German Banking & Capital Market are available here: Banken und Kapitalmärkte – Auswirkungen durch COVID-19
Please do not wait to contact us whenever you need our support – be it in understanding and analyzing the impact of the crisis and the potential measures or in coping with the operational challenges in these extraordinary times. And most important: Please stay healthy and take good care of you and your loved ones!