Establishing an output floor has proved to be one of the most controversial Basel proposals. The output floor limits the capital benefit arising from the use of risk models across all risk types by establishing minimum risk weighted assets (RWAs) at 72.5% of the standardized (i.e., non-modeled) level. The output floor is incorporated in CRR III and CRD VI at 72.5%, but is confirmed to operate primarily at the consolidated EU level only.
Although individual group entities below the EU parent are not subject to the output floor, there is an approach specified to apportion floored RWAs at the consolidated level to subsidiary parent companies in each EU country. This will result in the impact of the consolidated floor being distributed across the countries in which an EU group operates.
In a further concession, the EC notes that the Pillar 2 Requirement and the systemic risk buffer can be used to address risks that are similar in nature to those addressed by the output floor and these may need to be amended to avoid double counting.
Standardized credit risk
The Basel proposals provide for various changes that make standardized approaches more risk sensitive. Generally speaking, the changes tend to add more tiers, categories and requirements, thereby making standardized approaches more complex.
The EC incorporates the Basel changes to standardized credit risk approaches for institutions, corporates and specialized lending. However, two EU specificities are included. These recognize concerns arising from the fact that many EU corporates and specialized lending exposures are unrated. Accordingly, for unrated corporates with a probability of default (PD) of less than 0.5%, the standardized risk weight is set at 65% rather than 100% for a transition period. And unrated object finance exposures that are assessed to be high quality will also benefit from a relatively favorable capital treatment. In addition, the current EU infrastructure supporting factor is retained.
The EC also incorporates the Basel changes to standardized credit risk for retail exposures. However, there is an EU-specific concession in real estate lending. Instead of the proposed Basel approach of requiring the value of the property to be based on the value at the time of the loan origination, the EC approach permits the property value to be adjusted upward, but only to the average of the property’s value over the last three (for commercial) or six (for residential) years.
Under the Basel changes, equity exposures can only be treated as standardized, and the risk weights are set at levels up to 450%. The EC incorporates these changes but proposes two concessions: the first sees intra-group equity exposures remain at a 100% risk weight, and the second provides for a transition period of adjustment to the new Basel risk weights.
Internal ratings-based (IRB) credit risk
The EC incorporates the Basel changes to remove the Advanced-IRB (A-IRB) approach option for exposures to large corporates and financial institutions, and remove all IRB approach options for equity. However, in an EU-specific change, exposures to public sector entities, regional governments and local authorities are exempted and can remain on the A-IRB approach.
Basel proposes input floors to establish minimum levels of PD, loss given default (LGD) and exposure at default (EAD) within the IRB framework. Further changes include the removal of the 1.06 scaling factor and a reduction of the LGD component in Foundation-IRB from 45% to 40%. The EC incorporates these changes to IRB; however, for specialized lending and leasing exposures, the input floor is subject to a transitional phase-in.
Credit valuation adjustment (CVA)
The EC incorporates the Basel changes to CVA to remove the use of internal modeled approaches and require a standardized approach or a basic approach.
The Basel changes to operational risk remove the advanced measurement approach (AMA) and replace it with a non-modeled standardized approach. This is based on a business indicator component (BIC) that the EC incorporates. However, the EC approaches do not further consider historical operational losses. Hence, as a much-anticipated development, the operational risk internal loss multiplier (ILM) element is effectively set at 1.