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How the UK Plans to Integrate Basel IV Regulations for Banks

As banks undergo digital transformation, the need for banking regulations is gaining importance. In the UK specifically, the regulatory framework before Brexit included more EU regulations that are directly applicable, with UK legislation and rules implementing requirements according to EU Directives. With the end of the Brexit implementation period in December 2020, of course, EU laws ceased to apply in the UK. Brexit aside, however, all UK-incorporated banks remain subject to prudential requirements, as are most banks from other countries. In this post, we’ll discuss how the UK plans to integrate the Basel IV regulations for its banking industry:

What is Basel IV?

The Basel IV framework aims to help banks meet goals beyond regulatory compliance. Banks across the EU are called on to examine risk in creative and demanding ways. The Base Committee on Banking Supervision set January 1, 2021, as a global deadline for Basel IV, but local jurisdictions define the actual implementation deadlines, possibly in a phased approach. The idea behind the regulation is that when banks can manage their organisations and their data well, they can enhance growth, competitiveness, and profitability.

More importantly, as banks continue to adopt new technologies and increase their data volume, there is an increased demand for external and internal reporting to improve risk management. In our previous Law News post on the top international legal cases of investors in 2022, we mentioned an update on the Wirecard accounting fraud, in which arrests were made in relation to the collapse of the electronic payments provider back in 2020. For banks, compliance with the Basel IV regulatory framework can help mitigate such digital risks and prevent the threat of data and financial loss.

Basel IV vs Basel III

As previously mentioned, the UK’s compliance with Basel IV’s predecessor — Basel III — was also in joint compliance with EU laws. For the UK specifically, the proposals for Basel IV are the first to be designed by the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) outside of EU jurisdiction. As a result, areas in the UK’s Basel IV compliance differ from the Basel Committee on Bank Supervision’s proposals and the EU.

According to a feature on the UK and Basel 3.1, some of the key differences between the UK position and the EU proposals include changes to the output floor — in which capital can fall to no lower than 72.5% of standardised risk-weighted assets across all risk types, credit valuation adjustment, as well as the regulatory capital for credit risk.

How will the UK integrate Basel IV?

As mentioned above, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has set a global deadline of January 1, 2023, for Basel IV compliance. However, the UK — like the EU — proposed that this vital package of reforms be implemented from January 1, 2025, according to specific transitional arrangements. Insights from International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) highlight that the UK also proposes to allow an additional year for implementation of the FRTB profit-and-loss attribution test, which is a Basel-aligned approach believed to enable a smooth transition to the new regulatory requirements. The Bank of England’s PRA has taken measures to differentiate its Basel IV integration from that of the EU while keeping the divergences from Basel “limited” and aligned with the global standards.

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