EMEA Centre for Regulatory Strategy in Financial Services UK
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2017 Bank of England banking sector stress test exploratory scenario – Profitability in the spotlight
On 27 March the Bank of England (BoE) will publish the scenarios for its 2017 banking sector stress testing exercise. For the first time, the exercise will include an ‘exploratory’ scenario. Run in alternate years alongside the now familiar annual cyclical scenario (ACS), the exploratory scenario will enable the BoE to test the resilience of the banking system to a wider range of threats.
The introduction of IFRS 9 from 1 January 2018 will have a significant effect on regulatory capital across the banking industry, with four-fifths of EU banks expecting their stock of impairments to rise under the new rules according to a Deloitte survey. The European Banking Authority’s (EBA) estimates for the increase of impairment stock (provisions), compared to the current levels under IAS 39, is 18% on average and up to 30% for some firms. This led to an estimated decrease in Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) and total capital ratios by an average of 59 bps and 45 bps, respectively. As a result, finding a mechanism to smooth any unwanted impacts following the IFRS 9 adoption, by avoiding a capital cliff-effect on day one, has rapidly become a priority for prudential regulators.
The implementation of the mandatory exchange of initial and variation margin for non-cleared OTC derivative trades in the EU commenced on 4 February for financial counterparties with the largest derivatives portfolios. The introduction of these rules – which was part of the G20’s mandate to reduce the systemic risk posed by the OTC derivatives trading – is expected to lead to an increase in the cost of trading for non-cleared trades.
7 March 2017 will mark a year since the commencement of the Senior Managers Regime (SMR) for banks, building societies, credit unions and PRA-designated investment firms. This date is also significant since it will be the go-live date for the following requirements which form part of the SMR:
Looking ahead to 2017, one of the most important areas of regulatory development that we see in financial services is rising supervisory expectations of firms’ cyber resilience. A spate of recent incidents of cyber-crime and IT failure have sharpened the focus of firms on their cyber preparedness, but management and boards should now also expect to be more routinely challenged by their supervisors on how well they understand and what they have done to limit their exposure to cyber and IT risks.
2016 has been another difficult year for the financial sector, with economic and political uncertainty complicating the completion of the post-crisis regulatory repair agenda.
Three years on from CRD IV/CRR being finalised, the EU’s banking sector now faces a revised Capital Requirements Directive and Capital Requirements Regulation (CRD V and CRR II), and a host of other legislative amendments, in a 500+ page package published today. These revisions to CRD V/CRR II and amendments to the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) are likely to stretch significant regulatory change into the next decade.
FCA’s asset management market study | Shining a spotlight on fund charges, fund performance and competition
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published an interim report on its asset management market study. It found evidence of high profitability relative to market benchmarks and weak price competition, especially in actively managed retail investment funds. The FCA’s proposed remedies are primarily intended to improve the transparency of fund charges and fund performance, reform governance standards for UK authorised funds, and increase scrutiny of the unregulated investment consultancy market. The FCA also proposes to carry out further research on how asset management services and products are distributed to retail investors. The regulator is seeking feedback on its proposals by 20 February 2017.
European Commission proposes 12 month PRIIPs Delay, but uncertainty around timing of the legislation means firms should maintain momentum
On 9 November, the European Commission published a legislative proposal to extend the application date of the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation (PRIIPs) by one year. PRIIPs requires the disclosure of Key Information Documents (KIDs) when PRIIPs are sold to retail investors. The delay has been widely anticipated by the market and gives manufacturers and distributors of PRIIPs products until 1 January 2018 to put implementation plans in place. The Commission did not amend any other provisions in the Level 1 text. The proposal follows a vote by the EU Parliament on 14 September to reject the EU Commission’s Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on PRIIPs and concerns expressed by 24 Member States in the Council in a vote by the Competitiveness Council of the EU on 20 September (see our blog of 20 September for further detail on the Parliament’s rejection of the RTS).