February 14, 2014

The “peskiest exceptional” that hit our banking system was dumb Basel Committee regulators.

Sir, the LEX Column, February 14, when referring to French banks, writes about how hard it is to provide a shareholder’s return when “pesky exceptionals keep butting in”.

But, the reality of “pesky exceptionals”, is the primary reason for which banks need to hold capital because if any ordinarily perceived risks are not adequately managed then the responsible banker should be fired or the bank must fail… or both.

Unfortunately that is precisely the big mistake of Basel Committee’s bank regulations… the capital requirements were set not based on the possibility of unexpected “pesky exceptionals”, but based on the ordinary perceived risks of the expected losses.

In other words, with Basel II, we had the misfortune to run into exceptionally pesky regulators; who we now have unfortunately allowed to keep on working on Basel III. In this respect not holding regulators accountable, is also turning us into pesky exceptionals.