On July 30, 2021, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the World Bank published a global survey of 90 authorities including bank supervisors and regulators entitled, Proportionality in bank regulation and supervision - a joint global survey. Although the Basel Committee acknowledges that proportionality encourages many benefits such as banking stability, reduction of compliance costs and regulatory burden, and utilization of “scarce supervisory resources”, the Committee recognizes challenges related to the approach and implementation of proportionality such as “how to define the tiering criteria, how to maintain a level playing field and how to avoid opportunities for regulatory arbitrage” and “how to ensure financial positions are still comparable across banks and how to achieve net reduction in compliance costs and stress on supervisory resources and constraints.”
The Basel Committee touts that proportionality is ingrained in their work, specifically in the Committee’s Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision (BCPs). World Council fully supports the Basel Committee and World Bank’s commitment to improving proportionality approaches, however, the related concerns and concepts within proportionality should apply widely to all relevant financial institutions such as credit unions and not just to banks. “We applaud the Basel Committee’s focus on understanding proportionality. However, we note the absence of responses that indicate a connection between proportionality and financial inclusion and providing access to responsible financial products. This should also be a significant driver for implementing proportionality by all supervisory authorities beyond the focus on supervisory resources”, says World Council Sr. Vice President of Advocacy, Andrew Price.
“The key takeaways from the analysis of survey responses are:
- Proportionate implementation is practised widely, across geographic regions and income groups. The use of proportionality is growing, as judged by respondents reporting future plans for proportionality. This is a work-in-progress but is also challenging for several jurisdictions.
- Importantly, proportionality is acknowledged by respondents as promoting banking stability, reducing unnecessary regulatory burden and compliance costs, and making effective use of scarce supervisory resources. Consistent with this, a significant proportion of respondents (67%) are planning to implement or revise their proportionate approaches. Respondents have also expressed a clear preference for implementing a limited set of Committee standards.
- However, challenges remain for jurisdictions that have adopted or are considering adopting proportionality. These challenges are during the design of proportionate approach (eg how to define the tiering criteria, how to maintain a level playing field and how to avoid opportunities for regulatory arbitrage) and after proportionality is implemented (eg how to ensure financial positions are still comparable across banks and how to achieve net reduction in compliance costs and stress on supervisory resources and constraints).
- Implementation is motivated by factors other than risk profile or systemic relevance in some cases. For example, full or conservative set are implemented by jurisdictions seeking to obtain or retain correspondent banking relationships, meet the expectation of host jurisdiction supervisors or of rating agencies, regional pressure and peer pressure.”
More information on the survey can be found here.