Federal Reserve Updates Risk Management Supervisory Guidance for Smaller FBOs

On June 8, 2016, the Federal Reserve updated its Supervisory Guidance that partially supersedes SR letter 95-51, “Rating the Adequacy of Risk Management and Internal Controls at State Member Banks and Bank Holding Companies.”  The guidance clarifies Board and senior management oversight of risk management, policies, procedures and limits, risk monitoring and MIS, and internal controls.  One revision extends the applicability of the guidance to the U.S. operations of foreign banking organizations with total consolidated U.S. assets of less than $50 billion (such as ISP), which were not previously subject to SR 95- 51. The guidance notes, however, that FBO risk management processes and control functions for the U.S. operations may be implemented domestically or outside of the U.S. and in cases where the functions are performed outside of the U.S., the FBO’s oversight function, policies and procedures, and information systems need to be sufficiently transparent to allow U.S. supervisors to assess their adequacy.

Additionally, the FBO’s U.S. senior management need to demonstrate and maintain a thorough understanding of all relevant risks affecting the U.S. operations and the associated management information systems, used to manage and monitor these risks within the U.S. operations.  With respect to Board responsibilities, the guidance states in a footnote: “For the purpose of this guidance, for foreign banking organizations, ‘board of directors’ refers to the equivalent governing body of the U.S. operations of the FBO.”

The guidance goes on further to state that:

The board of directors should collectively have a balance of skills, knowledge, and experience to clearly understand the activities and risks to which the institution is exposed.  The board of directors should take steps to develop an appropriate understanding of the risks the institution faces, through briefings from experts internal to their organization and potentially from external experts.  The institution’s management information systems should provide the board of directors with sufficient information to identify the size and significance of the risks.  Using this knowledge and information, the board of directors should provide clear guidance regarding the level of exposures acceptable to the institution and oversee senior management’s implementation of the procedures and controls necessary to comply with approved policies, the guidance states.

Joint Committee of ESAs Final RTS on Key Information Documents for PRIIPs

The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) published its final draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) on key information documents (KIDs) for packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (PRIIPs). The draft RTS include a mandatory template, which includes certain mandatory texts and details of the layout to use, a methodology for the assignment of each PRIIP to one of the seven classes in the summary risk indicator, and the requirements relating to the presentation of costs.

An accompanying press release states that the proposed KIDs provide retail investors, for the first time across the EU, with simple and comparable information on PRIIPs. It is intended that the three page document will increase the transparency and comparability of information about the risks, performance and costs of PRIIPs.

The draft RTS have been submitted to the European Commission for endorsement and will enter into force on December 31, 2016.

ESAs Publish Final Draft Technical Standards on Margin Requirements for Non-Centrally Cleared Derivatives

The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, EIOPA, ESMA) (“ESAs“) has published final draft Regulatory Technical Standards (“RTS“) outlining the framework of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). The RTS cover the risk mitigation techniques related to the exchange of collateral to cover exposures arising from non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives. They also specify the criteria concerning intragroup exemptions and the definitions of practical and legal impediments to the prompt transfer of funds between counterparties.

The draft RTS prescribe that, for OTC derivatives not cleared by a Central Counterparty, counterparties have to exchange both initial and variation margins. This will reduce counterparty credit risk, mitigate any potential systemic risk and ensure alignment with international standards. The draft RTS outline the list of eligible collateral for the exchange of margins, the criteria to ensure the collateral is sufficiently diversified and not subject to wrong-way risk, as well as the methods to determine appropriate collateral haircuts. The draft RTS also lay down the operational procedures relating to documentation, legal assessments of the enforceability of the agreements and the timing of the collateral exchange, as well as the procedures for counterparties and competent authorities related to the treatment of intragroup derivative contracts.

Fed Issues Final Rule to Amend Regulation HH and Payment System Risk Policy

On October 28, the Federal Reserve Board issued a final rule that amends the Regulation HH risk-management standards for companies that have been designated as systemically important by the Financial Stability Oversight Council and for which the Fed has standard-setting authority pursuant to Title VIII of Dodd-Frank.  Key changes include establishing separate standards to address credit risk and liquidity risk, new requirements on recovery and orderly wind-down planning, a new standard on general business risk, a new standard on tiered participation arrangements, and increased requirements on transparency and disclosure.  Release.  Final Rule.  Policy Statement.