December 04, 2015

Risk weighted TLAC intensifies the irresponsible regulatory distortion of bank credit allocation to the real economy

Sir, I refer to Eric Platt’s and Ben McLannahan’s “S&P downgrades 8 US lenders on support fears” and to Lex’s “US banks: losing their safety harness”, December 4.

It is mentioned: “Since the financial crisis of 2008-09 regulators have launched a succession of measures designed to ensure that taxpayers will not be burdened again in the event of another Lehman-like crisis, forcing banks to hold more capital and liquid assets while limiting the amounts they can return to shareholders through buybacks and dividends” “Banks are expected to hold total loss absorbing capacity — TLAC — of at least 18 per cent of their risk-weighted assets.” “S&P on Wednesday pronounced the US Federal Reserve’s latest capital rules as up to the task”

So, on top of the distortions produced by the risk weighted capital requirements now regulators want to add this.

18 percent of risk weighted assets means that normal unrated creditors, and those rated between BBB+ to BB-, will generate the bank an 18 percent TLAC requirement, while for example private sector assets rated AAA to AA will only generate a 3.6 percent requirements TLAC. Those unlucky to have a rating below BB- they will generate a 27 percent TLAC requirement, which of course will not make their plight any easier to solve.

I am so amazed at how bank regulators seem to not care one iota about whether their regulations distort the allocation of bank credit to the real economy. Might it be that they have still not defined the purpose of those banks they are regulating? God, save us from this type of irresponsible regulators.

@PerKurowski ©