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International Convergence of Capital Measurement and Capital Standards

Part IV. Transitional and implementing arrangements

  1. Transition
45. Certain transitional arrangements have been agreed upon to ensure that there are sustained efforts during the transitional period to build up individual banks' ratios towards the ultimate target standard; and to facilitate smooth adjustment and phasing in of the new arrangements within a wide variety of existing supervisory systems.

46. The transitional period will be from the date of this paper to the end of 1992, by which latter date all banks undertaking significant cross-border business will be expected to meet the standard in full (see paragraph 50 below). In addition, there will be an interim standard to be met by the end of 1990 (see paragraph 49 below).

47. Initially no formal standard or minimum level will be set. It is the general view of the Committee, however, that every encouragement should be given to those banks whose capital levels are at the low end of the range to build up their capital as quickly as possible and the Committee expects there to be no erosion of existing capital standards in individual member countries' banks. Thus, during the transitional period, all banks which need to improve capital levels up to the interim and final standards should not diminish even temporarily their current capital levels (subject to the fluctuations which can occur around the time new capital is raised). A level of 5% attained by application of the framework and transitional arrangements is considered by some countries to be a reasonable yardstick for the lower capitalised banks to seek to attain in the short term. Individual member countries will, of course, be free to set, and announce, at the outset of the transitional period the level from which they would expect all their banks to move towards the interim and final target standard. In order to assess and compare progress during the initial period of adjustment to end-1990 in a manner which takes account both of existing supervisory systems and the new arrangements, the Committee and individual supervisory authorities will initially apply the basis of measurement set out in paragraph 48 below.

48. In measuring the capital position of banks at the start of the transitional period, a proportion of the core capital may be made up of supplementary elements up to a maximum of 25% of core capital elements, reducing to 10% by end-1990. In addition, throughout the transitional period up to end-1992, subject to more restrictive policies which individual authorities may wish to apply, term subordinated debt may be included without limit as a constituent of supplementary elements and the deduction from tier 1 capital elements in respect of goodwill may be waived.

49. At end-1990 there will be an interim minimum standard of 7.25% of which at least half should be core capital. However, between end-1990 and end-1992 up to 10% of the required core elements may be made up of supplementary elements. This means, in round figures, a minimum core capital element of 3.6%, of which tier 1 elements should total at least 3.25%, is to be achieved by the end of 1990. In addition, from end-1990, general loan­loss reserves or general provisions which include amounts reflecting lower valuations of assets or latent but unidentified losses present in the balance sheet will be limited to 1.5 percentage points, or exceptionally up to 2.0 percentage points, of risk assets within supplementary elements.

50. At end-1992 the transitional period ends. The minimum standard will then be 8%, of which core capital (tier 1, equity and reserves) will be at least 4%, supplementary elements no more than core capital and term subordinated debt within supplementary elements no more than 50% of tier 1. In addition, general loan-loss reserves or general provisions (having the characteristics described in paragraph 49) will be limited at end-1992 to 1.25 percentage points, or exceptionally and temporarily up to 2.06 percentage points, within supplementary elements.

For ease of reference, the arrangements described in paragraphs 45 to 50 are summarised in a table at Annex 4.

  1. Implementation

51. The arrangements described in this document will be implemented at national level at the earliest possible opportunity. Each country will decide the way in which the supervisory authorities will introduce and apply these recommendations in the light of their different legal structures and existing supervisory arrangements. In some countries, changes in the capital regime may be introduced, after consultation, relatively speedily without the need for legislation. Other countries may employ more lengthy procedures, and in some cases these may require legislation. In due course the member states of the European Community will also need to ensure that their own domestic regulations are compatible with the Community's own legislative proposals in this field. None of these factors needs result in any inconsistency in the timing of implementation among member countries. For example, some countries may apply the framework in this report, formally or informally, in parallel with their existing system, certainly during the initial period of transition. In this way banks can be assisted to start the necessary process of adjustment in good time before substantive changes in national systems are formally introduced.

July 1988


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