A recent speech by Fernando Restoy, Chairman, Financial Stability Institute, Bank for International Settlements addressed the role of prudential policy as it relates to climate change.
Restoy noted that banks are exposed to climate change through two different sets of climate risk drivers: 1. Through physical risks resulting from the increasing frequency of extreme weather events; and 2. Transactional risk resulting from disruption from the cumulative effects of changes in government policies and in technology and consumer and investor behavior which in turn can erode the value of banks’ credit exposures on the corresponding collateral.
He notes that the physical and transition risks manifest themselves in the form of credit, market and liquidity risks. In addition, climate-related developments can increase operational risk by affecting business continuity and by giving rise to litigation and reputational losses.
Restoy concludes that the role of prudential regulators is to thoroughly analyze the financial impact of climate change on safety and soundness and to make adjustments to protect the stability of the financial system. The key will be achieving the right balance between disclosure obligations, supervisory action, and the adjustment of capital requirements if appropriate.
A transcript of the entire speech can be viewed here.