RBI Guidelines: Basel III Framework on Liquidity Standards – Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR)
The Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) and Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) are significant components of the Basel III reforms. The LCR guidelines which promote short term resilience of a bank’s liquidity profile have been issued on June 9, 2014. The NSFR guidelines on the other hand ensure reduction in funding risk over a longer time horizon by requiring banks to fund their activities with sufficiently stable sources of funding in order to mitigate the risk of future funding stress.
The draft guidelines on the NSFR for banks in India were issued on May 28, 2015 for comments. The final guidelines after due consideration have been issued and will be implemented in the near future. These are:
- In the backdrop of the global financial crisis that started in 2007, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) proposed certain reforms to strengthen global capital and liquidity regulations with the objective of promoting a more resilient banking sector. In this regard, the Basel III rules text on liquidity – “Basel III: International framework for liquidity risk measurement, standards and monitoring” was issued in December 2010 which presented the details of global regulatory standards on liquidity. Two minimum standards, viz., Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) for funding liquidity were prescribed by the Basel Committee for achieving two separate but complementary objectives.
- The LCR promotes short-term resilience of banks to potential liquidity disruptions by ensuring that they have sufficient high quality liquid assets (HQLAs) to survive an acute stress scenario lasting for 30 days. The NSFR promotes resilience over a longer-term time horizon by requiring banks to fund their activities with more stable sources of funding on an ongoing basis.
- At the time of issuing the December 2010 document, the Basel Committee had put in place a rigorous process to review the standard and its implications for financial markets, credit extension and economic growth and agreed to review the development of the NSFR over an observation period. The focus of this review was on addressing any unintended consequences for financial market functioning and the economy, and on improving its design with respect to several key issues, notably: (i) the impact on retail business activities; (ii) the treatment of short-term matched funding of assets and liabilities; and (iii) analysis of sub-one year buckets for both assets and liabilities.
- These guidelines are based on the final rules text on NSFR published by the BCBS in October 2014 and take into account the Indian conditions.
The objective of NSFR is to ensure that banks maintain a stable funding profile in relation to the composition of their assets and off-balance sheet activities. A sustainable funding structure is intended to reduce the probability of erosion of a bank’s liquidity position due to disruptions in a bank’s regular sources of funding that would increase the risk of its failure and potentially lead to broader systemic stress. The NSFR limits over-reliance on short-term wholesale funding, encourages better assessment of funding risk across all on- and off-balance sheet items, and promotes funding stability.
The NSFR would be applicable for Indian banks at the solo as well as consolidated level. For foreign banks operating as branches in India, the framework would be applicable on stand-alone basis (i.e., for Indian operations only).
Definition of NSFR
The NSFR is defined as the amount of available stable funding relative to the amount of required stable funding. “Available stable funding” (ASF) is defined as the portion of capital and liabilities expected to be reliable over the time horizon considered by the NSFR, which extends to one year. The amount of stable funding required i.e., “Required stable funding (RSF) of a specific institution is a function of the liquidity characteristics and residual maturities of the various assets held by that institution as well as those of its off-balance sheet (OBS) exposures.
Minimum Requirement and Implementation Date
The above ratio should be equal to at least 100% on an ongoing basis. However, the NSFR would be supplemented by supervisory assessment of the stable funding and liquidity risk profile of a bank. On the basis of such assessment, the Reserve Bank may require an individual bank to adopt more stringent standards to reflect its funding risk profile and its compliance with the Sound Principles, issued in 2012. The NSFR would be binding on banks with effect from a date which will be communicated in due course.