October 2014

On October 31st, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released the final version of its new Leverage Requirements Guideline.  The Guideline is based on the BCBS publication Basel III Leverage Ratio Framework and Disclosure Requirements and implements the Basel leverage ratio requirement for Canadian banks and federally regulated deposit-taking institutionsUnlike the Basel test which is just a reporting requirement until 2018, OSFI has elected to require full compliance with its new leverage requirement by the end of the first quarter of 2015. 

On 12 June 2014, the Chancellor stated that he was committed to ensuring that the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) has “all the weapons it needs to guard against risks in the housing market.” He announced his intention to give the FPC “new powers over mortgages, including over the size of mortgage loans as a share of family incomes or the value of the house”.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published an opinion to the European Commission on the appropriateness of the rules governing the levels of application of prudential requirements for credit and investment institutions (Pillar 1 and 2), in particular the exemption regime. The opinion will inform the Commission’s review and final report which will be transmitted to the European Parliament and Council of the EU by the end of December 2014.

There has been published in the Official Journal of the EU delegated Regulation supplementing the CRD IV Directive with regard to regulatory technical standards on the identification of the geographical location of the relevant credit exposures for calculating institution specific countercyclical capital buffer rates.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published a press release confirming that it will take on its supervisory role under the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) on 4 November 2014. The ECB has also published a Regulation on supervisory fees. The Regulation sets out the arrangements under which the ECB will levy an annual supervisory fee for the expenditures incurred in relation to its new supervisory role.

The FCA regards contingent convertible securities (CoCos) and common equity  tier 1 share instruments issued by mutual societies as posing particular risks of inappropriate distribution to ordinary retail customers. The FCA has been working with issuers for some time while developing its policy approach and a significant amount of its supervisory resource has been directed at this issue.