Capital Requirements Regulation

European Commission Adopts Delegated Regulation on Waiver of Own Funds Requirements for Certain Covered Bonds Under the CRR

 

On August 21, 2017, the European Commission published the text of a Delegated Regulation that amends the Capital Requirements Regulation (Regulation 573/2013) (“CRR“). The main amendment pertains to Article 496(1) of the CRR. Currently, Article 496(1) allows competent authorities to waive, for certain covered bonds, the threshold of 10% referred to in Article 129 CRR until December 31, 2017.

The Commission has stated, however, that, given that some institutions rely in their business models on the use of this threshold waiver, it is appropriate for legal certainty to amend Article 496(1) to make the waiver permanent without the time limitation.

The Commission adopted the Delegated Regulation on August 11, 2017, and it is now for the Council of the EU and European Parliament to consider the Delegated Regulation. If neither objects, it will be published in the Official Journal of the EU and enter into force 20 days after its publication in the same. It will then start to apply from January 1, 2018.

To see the Delegated Regulation in full, please click here.

European Commission Adopts Implementing Regulation on Its Own Supervisory Reporting to Reflect IFRS 9 Changes to FINREP

 

On July 5, 2017, the European Banking Authority (“EBA“) published a press release announcing that the European Commission (EC) adopted an Implementing Regulation on June 29, 2017, which amends the Implementing Regulation on supervisory reporting of institutions (Regulation 680/2014) under the Capital Requirements Regulation (Regulation 575/2013) (CRR). The text of the Implementing Regulation and its Annexes has been published by the Commission.

The changes relate to the provisions in Regulation 680/2014, which concern financial reporting (“FINREP“) and are intended to align these provisions with International Financial Reporting Standard 9 (IFRS 9). Regulation 680/2014 includes FINREP requirements that are founded on international accounting standards and must be updated in line with any updates made to the relevant accounting standards.

It is now time for the Implementing Regulation to be published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ). It will apply from March 1, 2018.

Council of EU Agrees on Approach to Legislative Proposals for Insolvency Hierarchy Directive and IFRS 9 Regulation

 

The Council of the EU has agreed on a general approach to the legislative proposals for a directive (which will relate to the ranking of unsecured debt instruments in insolvency) amending the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (2014/59/EU) (“BRRD“) and a Regulation amending the Capital Requirements Regulation (Regulation 575/2013) (“CRR“) (which concerns transitional periods under the International Financial Reporting Standard 9 (“IFRS 9“)).

A press release published on June 16, 2017, by the Council of the EU (in its configuration as the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN)) outlined the following general approach on the legislative proposals:

  • In relation to BRRD, the Council agreed on the text set out in the Council’s final compromise proposal dated May 31, 2017 (9479/17).
  • In relation to CRR, the Council agreed on the text set out in the Council’s final compromise proposal dated May 31, 2017 (9480/17).
  • On June 12, 2017, the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee recommended that the Council agree on these texts as their general approach.

The press release states that EU ministers have asked the Council Presidency to start talks with the European Parliament on these proposals as soon as the Parliament has approved its own negotiating stance. It quotes the finance minister of Malta (which currently holds the Council Presidency), stating that the Council hopes that “the Parliament will be able to start negotiating by the end of this year.”

The draft Insolvency Hierarchy Directive and the IFRS 9 Regulation form part of the package of banking reforms that were adopted by the European Commission in November 2016. The EU authorities have decided to fast-track these relatively discrete measures ahead of their consideration of the remainder of the reforms.

Econ Draft Report on Proposed Regulation Amending CRR as Regards Transitional Period for Mitigating Impact on Own Funds of Introduction of IFRS 9

 

On June 8, 2017, the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (“ECON“) published its draft report on the proposed Regulation amending the Capital Requirements Regulation (Regulation 575/2013) (“CRR“) regarding the transitional period for mitigating the impact on own funds of the introduction of International Financial Reporting Standard 9 (“IFRS 9“) and the large exposures treatment of certain public sector exposures denominated in non-domestic currencies of member states.

The European Commission’s November 2016 legislative proposal for a Regulation amending the CRR (“CRR II Regulation“) contained transitional provisions relating to IFRS 9 and the large exposures treatment of certain public sector exposures. The explanatory statement to the draft report explains that the Presidency of the Council of the EU proposed that these provisions should be split from the proposed CRR II Regulation and dealt with in a separate draft Regulation “to allow for a timely entering into force of these transitional provisions.” The European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents approved the proposed split in May 2017. On June 1, 2017, the Council of the EU published the final Presidency compromise proposal relating to the split-out Regulation.

The draft report contains a European Parliament legislative resolution on the Regulation, the text of which sets out suggested amendments to the proposed CRR II Regulation that reflect the splitting out of the transitional provisions into a separate Regulation. The amendments delete provisions in the CRR II Regulation that do not relate to the transitional provisions. The report states that the deleted parts will be covered in a separate ECON report. It also contains an explanatory statement by the rapporteur, Peter Simon.

European Commission Publishes Inception Impact Assessment on New Prudential Framework for Investment Firms

 

The European Commission has published an inception impact assessment on its review of the appropriate treatment for investment firms.

The impact assessment relates to the Commission’s review of the prudential framework for investment firms, as required by Articles 293(2), 498(2), 508(2) and 508(3) of the Capital Requirements Regulation (“CRR“) (Regulation 575/2013). In November 2016, the European Banking Authority (“EBA“) published a discussion paper on a new prudential framework, with the aim of submitting an opinion and report to the European Commission by June 30, 2017.

The impact assessment provides an overview of the background to the initiative and the European Commission’s ongoing work. The European Commission states that, in light of the EBA’s consultation on the prudential framework, it does not intend to launch its own public consultation. It is, however, carrying out a consultation with industry stakeholders on the proposal. In particular, it intends to liaise with the industry on aspects of the proposal, such as the calibration and impact of any changes to the regime and foreseeable potential costs.

The European Commission states that the bulk of any new rules will take the form of a Regulation. This will be accompanied by a Directive covering elements that need to take the form of a directive for legal reasons, such as organizational and authorization requirements and corporate governance.

The impact assessment indicates that the European Commission will adopt a legislative proposal in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The European Commission is seeking feedback on the impact assessment. The European Commission’s website on impact assessments states that the deadline for comments is April 19, 2017.

Implementation Regulation Specifying Main Indices and Recognized Exchanges under CRR Published in OJ

On September 14, 2016, Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1646 laying down implementing technical standards with regard to main indices and recognized exchanges in accordance with the Capital Requirements Regulation (Regulation 575/2013), was published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ). The Implementing Regulation will enter into force on October 4, 2016.

Addendum to ECB Guide on Harmonizing Options and Discretions Available in Union Law

 

On August 10, 2016, the European Central Bank (ECB) published an addendum to its guide on options and discretions (O&Ds) available in Union law.

The addendum complements the guide and ECB Regulation that were published in March 2016. It lays down the ECB’s approach to the exercise of eight O&Ds provided for in the Capital Requirements Regulation (Regulation 575/2013) (CRR) and the CRD IV Directive (2013/36/EU). The objective is to provide coherence, effectiveness and transparency regarding the supervisory policy that will be applied in the supervisory assessment of applications from significant supervised entities within the scope of the single supervisory mechanism (SSM).

A press release also published on August 10, highlights that the publication of the addendum signals the end of the consultation process. A consolidated version of the guide, including the addendum and the approach for the recognition of institutional protection schemes, is to be published on the ECB’s website later in 2016.

EBA Publishes Report on Leverage Ratio Requirements under Article 511 of the CRR

On August 3, 2016, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published a report on the leverage ratio (LR) requirements under the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR).

The EBA report recommends the introduction of a minimum LR requirement in the EU to mitigate the risk of excessive leverage, which is in line with the discussions held by the Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision (GHOS) – the governing body of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) – in January 2016.

The analysis suggests that the potential impact of introducing a LR requirement of 3 percent on the provision of financing by credit institutions would be relatively moderate, while, overall, it should lead to more stable credit institutions. Similarly, on the basis of econometric analysis, it has been estimated that risk taking should not be strongly affected. The EBA considers that the introduction of a 3 percent LR should lead to more stable credit institutions overall and the combined application of a risk-based ratio and a LR requirement will reduce the overall cyclicality of capital requirements.

The EBA also assessed the exposure of different categories of credit institutions to the risk of excessive leverage (REL) concluding that the results do not give a strong indication of differences in the degree of exposure to REL across different types of credit institutions. However, global systemically important institutions (GSIIs) show a higher exposure to REL and therefore a higher LR requirement may be warranted.

The report also flags that while the Basel LR standard fits well with the EU banking sector, the same cannot be said for all business models covered by other EU prudential regulations. For example, the EBA recommends that central counterparties (CCPs) and central securities depositaries (CSDs) be exempted. The report describes the characteristics of various specialized business models, such as public development banks, concluding that there is little room for differentiating the LR without opening the door to cases of circumvention of the basic principles of the LR. The report did not find evidence to exempt certain credit institutions from being subject to compliance with the LR minimum requirement of 3 percent on the basis of their limited size. However, the EBA will explore in more detail a reduced frequency and granularity of reporting requirements in the case of smaller credit institutions in future updates of the implementing technical standards (ITS) on LR reporting.

The Commission is required to submit a report on the impact and effectiveness of the LR, and potential legislative proposals, to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU by December 31, 2016.

EBA Final Draft RTS on Assessment Methodology for Internal Ratings-Based Approach

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published final draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) on the specification of the assessment methodology for competent authorities regarding compliance of an institution with the requirements to use the internal ratings-based (IRB) approach in accordance with Articles 144(2), 173(3) and 180(3)(b) of the Capital Requirements Regulation (Regulation 575/2013) (CRR).

The final draft RTS provide a mapping of the minimum IRB requirements as laid down in Chapter 3, Title II, Part Three of the CRR, into fourteen chapters. Each chapter starts with a brief description of the assessment criteria to be used by competent authorities relating to verification requests and of the methods to be used by competent authorities in this context.  Under the IRB approach, institutions determine their own funds requirements for credit risk, taking into account their own estimates of risk parameters.  Competent authorities may, under the CRR, permit institutions to use the IRB approach, provided that the relevant conditions set out in the CRR are met.

The draft RTS are available here and will now be submitted to the European Commission for endorsement.

Council of EU Adopts Regulation Extending Exemptions for Commodity Dealers under CRR

On May 30, 2016, the Council of the EU published a press release confirming that it has adopted a Regulation amending the Capital Requirements Regulation (Regulation 575/2013) (CRR) to extend an exemption from certain requirements for commodity dealers.

The expiry date for the exemption of commodity dealers from large exposure requirements and from own funds requirements has been pushed back under the amending Regulation from December 31, 2017 to December 31, 2020.

The CRR requires the European Commission to prepare reports on the prudential supervision of commodity dealers and of investment firms in general. Since the review is still underway, it is likely that new legislation that may be required would only be adopted after the initial expiry date for the exemption. The purpose of the extension is therefore to provide commodity dealers with a stable regulatory environment in the meantime.

The European Parliament adopted the amending Regulation on May 11, 2016. It will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ).