New FSB-BCBS assessment: Stronger capital and liquidity standards are likely to have a modest impact on aggregate output.

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) and Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS)  published  on August 18, 2010 reports prepared as inputs to the calibration of the new bank capital and liquidity standards and to inform the transition arrangements for implementation of the new standards. The Basel Committee’s assessment of the long-term economic impact finds that there are clear net long-term economic benefits from increasing the minimum capital and liquidity requirements from their current levels in order to raise the safety and soundness of the global banking system. The benefits of higher capital and liquidity requirements accrue from reducing the probability of financial crisis and the output losses associated with such crises. The benefits substantially exceed the potential output costs for a range of higher capital and liquidity requirements.

The FSB-BCBS assessment of the macroeconomic transition costs, prepared in close collaboration with the International Monetary Fund, concludes that the transition to stronger capital and liquidity standards is likely to have a modest impact on aggregate output. If higher requirements are phased in over four years, the group estimates that each 1 percentage point increase in banks’ actual ratio of tangible common equity to risk-weighted assets will lead to a decline in the level of GDP relative to its baseline path by about 0.20% after implementation is completed. In terms of growth rates, this means that the annual growth rate would be reduced by an average of 0.04 percentage points over a four and a half year period, with a range of results around these point estimates. A 25% increase in liquid asset holdings is found to have an output effect less than half that associated with a 1 percentage point increase in capital ratios. The projected impacts arise mainly from banks passing on higher costs to borrowers, which results in a slowdown in investment. A two-year implementation period leads to a slightly larger reduction from the baseline path, with the trough occurring after two and a half years, while extending the implementation period beyond four years makes little difference. In all of these estimates, GDP returns to its baseline path in subsequent years.

Basel, August 18 th, 2010


Source:  Bank for International Settlements,

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