Basel III reforms are the response of Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) to improve the banking sector’s ability to absorb shocks arising from financial and economic stress, whatever the source, thus reducing the risk of spillover from the financial sector to the real economy. Basel III reforms strengthen the bank-level i.e. micro prudential regulation, with the intention to raise the resilience of individual banking institutions in periods of stress. Besides, the reforms have a macro prudential focus also, addressing system wide risks, which can build up across the banking sector, as well as the procyclical amplification of these risks over time. These new global regulatory and supervisory standards mainly addressed the following areas:
- raise the quality and level of capital to ensure banks are better able to absorb losses on both a going concern and a gone concern basis;
- increase the risk coverage of the capital framework;
- introduce leverage ratio to serve as a backstop to the risk-based capital measure;
- raise the standards for the supervisory review process (Pillar 2); and
- Public disclosures (Pillar 3) etc.
Consequently, Basel III capital regulations would be fully implemented as on January 1, 2019. The framework of Basel III Capital Accord consists of three pillars:
1st Pillar: Minimum Capital Requirements
Provide approaches to the calculation of Minimum Capital Requirements (MCR). MCR is based on credit risk, market risk and operational risk to:
- reduce risks of failure by cushioning against losses;
- provide continuing access to financial markets to meet liquidity need; and
- provide incentives to prudent risk management
2nd Pillar: Supervisory Review Process
Provides the framework to ensure that each Bank has sound internal processes to enable it to perform a thorough evaluation of its risks and therefore assess the required capital. The Supervisory Review Process (SRP) recognizes the responsibility of Bank management in developing an internal capital assessment process and setting capital targets that are commensurate with the Bank’s risk profile and control environment.
The Basel Committee has identified four key principles of supervisory review:
- Banks should have a process for assessing their overall capital adequacy in relation to their risk profile and a strategy for maintaining their capital levels;
- Supervisors should review and evaluate Bank’s internal capital adequacy assessments and strategies, as well as their ability to monitor and ensure their compliance with regulatory capital ratios;
- Supervisors should expect Banks to operate above the minimum regulatory capital ratios and should have ability to require Banks to hold capital in excess of the minimum; and
- Supervisors should seek to intervene at an early stage to prevent capital from falling below the minimum levels required to support the risk characteristics of a particular Bank and should require rapid remedial action if capital is not maintained or restored.
3rd Pillar: Market Discipline
The purpose of Pillar-3, market discipline, is to complement the minimum capital requirements (Pillar-1) and the supervisory review process (Pillar-2). The Basel Committee aims to encourage market discipline by developing a core set of disclosure requirements which will allow market participants to assess key pieces of information on the scope of application, capital, risk exposure, risk assessment process, and hence the capital adequacy of the institution.
In principle Banks’ disclosure should be consistent with how senior management and the Board of Directors (BoDs) of the Bank assesses and manage different risks of the Bank.