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Basel II and the Capital Requirements Directive: Responding to the 2008/09 Financial Crisis

Ojo, Marianne (2009): Basel II and the Capital Requirements Directive: Responding to the 2008/09 Financial Crisis.

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Abstract

This paper addresses factors which have prompted the need for further revision of banking regulation, with particular reference to the Capital Requirements Directive. The Capital Requirements Directive (CRD), which comprises the 2006/48/EC Directive on the taking up and pursuit of the business of credit institutions and the 2006/49/EC Directive on the capital adequacy of investment firms and credit institutions, implemented the revised framework for the International Convergence of Capital Measurement and Capital Standards (Basel II) within EU member states.

Pro cyclicality has attracted a lot of attention – particularly with regards to the recent financial crisis, owing to concerns arising from increased sensitivity to credit risk under Basel II. This paper not only considers whether such concerns are well-founded, but also the beneficial and not so beneficial consequences emanating from Basel II’s increased sensitivity to credit risk (as illustrated by the Internal Ratings Based approaches). In so doing it considers the effects of Pillar 2 of Basel II, namely, supervisory review, with particular reference to buffer levels, and whether banks’ actual capital ratios can be expected to correspond with Basel capital requirements given the fact that they are expected to hold certain capital buffers under Pillar 2. Furthermore, it considers how regulators can respond to prevent systemic risks to the financial system during periods when firms which are highly leveraged become reluctant to lend. In deciding to cut back on lending activities, are the decisions of such firms justified in situations where such firms’ credit risk models are extremely and unduly sensitive - hence the level of capital being retained is actually much higher than minimum regulatory Basel capital requirements ?

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