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Subject: Risk-Based Capital--Securities Borrowing Transactions
Date: February 23, 2006
To: Chief Executive Officers of National Banks, Department and Division Heads, Examining Personnel and Other Interested Parties
Description: Final Rule
This bulletin transmits a final rule on the risk-based capital treatment of securities borrowing transactions in which the borrower of the security posts cash collateral. This rule applies only to banks that have implemented the market risk amendment to the risk-based capital rules (12 CFR 3, appendix B). The final rule was published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2006.
The interagency final rule makes permanent and expands the scope of an interim rule issued in 2000. Specifically, the final rule permits banks subject to the market risk amendment to include in risk-weighted assets an amount that is based on the difference between the amount of cash collateral posted and the market value of the borrowed security, subject to certain conditions. The final rule modifies one of the conditions of the interim rule to permit securities borrowing transactions with counterparties that are not eligible for certain exemptions from U.S. federal bankruptcy treatment or receivership law to qualify for this capital treatment.
Under the final rule, a securities borrowing transaction must meet all the following requirements to qualify for recognition of the net exposure in risk-weighted assets:
The final rule revises the fourth condition to expand the ways in which a securities borrowing transaction can qualify for the capital treatment of the rule. As in the interim rule, the final rule allows for netting of transactions with counterparties that meet the bankruptcy requirements. The final rule also allows for netting of transactions with counterparties that are not covered by U.S federal bankruptcy or receivership law, provided the bank has conducted a legal review and concluded that it has similar protections in the event of counterparty bankruptcy. Additionally, if the securities borrowing transaction is overnight or unconditionally cancelable, it can qualify for netting as long as the bank has conducted a legal review and concluded that it has the ability to close out or net its position promptly upon the event of a counterparty default.
If these conditions are met, only the net exposure (i.e., cash collateral less the value of the borrowed security) rather than the gross exposure, must be incorporated into the risk-based capital calculation. The capital treatment of this final rule is effective upon its publication in the Federal Register.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Margot Schwadron, risk expert, Capital Policy Division at (202) 874-6022; or Carl Kaminski, attorney, Legislative and Regulatory Activities Division at (202) 874-5090.
Emory W. Rushton