Thursday, January 07, 2010

Fed, FDIC, other Regulators Issue Interest Rate Risk Advisory

by Bill McBride on 1/07/2010 04:05:00 PM

From the FDIC: FDIC Issues Interest Rate Risk Advisory

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), in coordination with the other member agencies of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), released an advisory today reminding institutions of supervisory expectations for sound practices to manage interest rate risk (IRR).
The member agencies of the FFIEC include the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the FFIEC State Liaison Committee. The FDIC currently chairs the FFIEC.
Here is the advisory: FFIEC Advisory on Interest Rate Risk Management
The financial regulators1 are issuing this advisory to remind institutions of supervisory expectations regarding sound practices for managing interest rate risk (IRR). In the current environment of historically low short-term interest rates, it is important for institutions to have robust processes for measuring and, where necessary, mitigating their exposure to potential increases in interest rates.

Current financial market and economic conditions present significant risk management challenges to institutions of all sizes. For a number of institutions, increased loan losses and sharp declines in the values of some securities portfolios are placing downward pressure on capital and earnings. In this challenging environment, funding longer-term assets with shorter-term liabilities can generate earnings, but also poses risks to an institution’s capital and earnings.

The regulators recognize that some degree of IRR is inherent in the business of banking. At the same time, however, institutions are expected to have sound risk management practices in place to measure, monitor, and control IRR exposures.
emphasis added
The agencies recommended the following stress testing ...
When conducting scenario analyses, institutions should assess a range of alternative future interest rate scenarios in evaluating IRR exposure. ... In many cases, static interest rate shocks consisting of parallel shifts in the yield curve of plus and minus 200 basis points may not be sufficient to adequately assess an institution’s IRR exposure. As a result, institutions should regularly assess IRR exposures beyond typical industry conventions, including changes in rates of greater magnitude (e.g., up and down 300 and 400 basis points) across different tenors to reflect changing slopes and twists of the yield curve.