Heading into the Covid-19 crisis, the world’s big banks were prepared to weather the storm, thanks to reforms following the last crisis. But there’s still work to be done, says a new report.
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) issued a report that examines the impact of reforms adopted in the wake the financial crisis to address moral hazard and other systemic risks posed by systemically important banks.
These measures include added capital cushions, enhanced supervision and the development of effective resolution regimes and resolution planning for big banks, which were deemed “too big to fail.”
According to the paper, these reforms “have made banks more resilient and resolvable.”
It found that large, interconnected financial firms have more capital and greater capacity to absorb losses.
“The capital ratios of global systemically important banks have doubled since 2011,” the report noted.
Additionally, the report said that many jurisdictions have adopted comprehensive bank resolution regimes and require big banks to have living wills, which give regulators “a wide range of options for dealing with banks in stress.”
The paper also found that there haven’t been major negative side effects from the reforms, and concluded that “the benefits of the reforms significantly outweigh the costs.”
“Other market participants have stepped into areas where large banks have reduced their activities, while market fragmentation has not increased,” the report said.
However, the report noted that “there are still gaps that need to be addressed.”
In particular, it said that obstacles to actually winding down a large, systemically important firm still exist, and both regulators and markets need better disclosure.
“The too-big-to-fail reforms have made banks more resilient and have given authorities more options for dealing with shocks. And as we are learning how the new system is working, we are also learning where it can still be improved,” said Claudia Buch, vice president of the Deutsche Bundesbank and chair of the group that produced the report.
The FSB is seeking input on the paper by Sept. 30.