Central Bank of Ireland: Keeping the countercyclical capital buffer at zero?

In reference to Irish Central Bank maintains countercyclical capital buffer at zero by Peter Hamilton on 27 June 2017 in the Irish Times.

The Central Bank of Ireland decided to keep its countercyclical capital buffer at zero. Only if the current credit conditions remain restrained.

What is a countercyclical capital buffer?

A countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) is a quarterly decided rate that applies to banks and investment firms. It’s a capital requirement designed to help banks save during the good months to prepare for the bad months. The CCyB will increase if the credit growth is excessive then is released during a period of systematic stress.

Currently, the Central Bank of Ireland said it will remain at zero.

Bank of England, on the other hand, has raised its buffer from zero to 0.5 percent. This leaves bank having to raise an altogether buffer of 11.4 billion euros in 18 months. The Bank of England is also planning on raising the buffer to 1 percent by the end of the year.

The Financial Policy Committee (FPC) of the Bank of England also reduced warning level of risk from elevated to standard. The FPC did say they would turn off the buffer if banks were in need of the capital release.

FPC is estimating every 0.5 percent increase equals a 5.7 billion increase in banks’ capital.

They are also raising their leverage ratio to 3.5 percent from 3 percent. A leverage ratio is figure of the banks’ capital by total assets.

Even though the Central Bank of Ireland is not requiring any countercyclical capital buffer, hopefully the banks will leave enough capital in case credit conditions drop.

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