BIS Publishes Bulletin on Role of Prudential Policy in Covid-19 Losses

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published a bulletin entitled “Buffering Covid-19 Losses – the Role of Prudential Policy”, suggesting conditions to address the shock coronavirus pandemic has had on the economy through release of prudential buffers. The bulletin is divided into three parts: 1. Assessment of how banks are and will be affected by Covid-19 confinement measures and policy responses to the pandemic; 2. design and usability of prudential buffers; and 3. relaxing buffers to support banks.

According to BIS the following are key takeaways from the bulletin:

  • “By allowing banks to run down some of their buffers, policymakers are sending a strong signal about their resolve to lessen the economic fallout from the pandemic. Such prudential measures complement the main policy levers: monetary and fiscal instruments. 
  • To avoid a reduction in credit to the real economy, authorities need to ensure that banks have the capacity and willingness to make use of the flexibility afforded by the buffer release. Payout restrictions on banks and risk-sharing between banks and the public sector will be key.
  • For banks to continue playing a positive role in the supply of funding during the recovery, they should maintain usable buffers for a long period, as losses from a severe recession will take time to materialise.”
Bank of International Settlements