12 CFR § 252.35 - Liquidity stress testing and buffer requirements.

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§ 252.35 Liquidity stress testing and buffer requirements.

(a)Liquidity stress testing requirement -

(1)General. A bank holding company with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more must conduct stress tests to assess the potential impact of the liquidity stress scenarios set forth in paragraph (a)(3) on its cash flows, liquidity position, profitability, and solvency, taking into account its current liquidity condition, risks, exposures, strategies, and activities.

(i) The bank holding company must take into consideration its balance sheet exposures, off-balance sheet exposures, size, risk profile, complexity, business lines, organizational structure, and other characteristics of the bank holding company that affect its liquidity risk profile in conducting its stress test.

(ii) In conducting a liquidity stress test using the scenarios described in paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (iii) of this section, the bank holding company must address the potential direct adverse impact of associated market disruptions on the bank holding company and incorporate the potential actions of other market participants experiencing liquidity stresses under the market disruptions that would adversely affect the bank holding company.

(2)Frequency. The liquidity stress tests required under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must be performed at least monthly. The Board may require the bank holding company to perform stress testing more frequently.

(3)Stress scenarios.

(i) Each liquidity stress test conducted under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must include, at a minimum:

(A) A scenario reflecting adverse market conditions;

(B) A scenario reflecting an idiosyncratic stress event for the bank holding company; and

(C) A scenario reflecting combined market and idiosyncratic stresses.

(ii) The bank holding company must incorporate additional liquidity stress scenarios into its liquidity stress test, as appropriate, based on its financial condition, size, complexity, risk profile, scope of operations, or activities. The Board may require the bank holding company to vary the underlying assumptions and stress scenarios.

(4)Planning horizon. Each stress test conducted under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must include an overnight planning horizon, a 30-day planning horizon, a 90-day planning horizon, a one-year planning horizon, and any other planning horizons that are relevant to the bank holding company's liquidity risk profile. For purposes of this section, a “planning horizon” is the period over which the relevant stressed projections extend. The bank holding company must use the results of the stress test over the 30-day planning horizon to calculate the size of the liquidity buffer under paragraph (b) of this section.

(5)Requirements for assets used as cash-flow sources in a stress test.

(i) To the extent an asset is used as a cash flow source to offset projected funding needs during the planning horizon in a liquidity stress test, the fair market value of the asset must be discounted to reflect any credit risk and market volatility of the asset.

(ii) Assets used as cash-flow sources during a planning horizon must be diversified by collateral, counterparty, borrowing capacity, and other factors associated with the liquidity risk of the assets.

(iii) A line of credit does not qualify as a cash flow source for purposes of a stress test with a planning horizon of 30 days or less. A line of credit may qualify as a cash flow source for purposes of a stress test with a planning horizon that exceeds 30 days.

(6)Tailoring. Stress testing must be tailored to, and provide sufficient detail to reflect, a bank holding company's capital structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, and size.

(7)Governance -

(i)Policies and procedures. A bank holding company with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more must establish and maintain policies and procedures governing its liquidity stress testing practices, methodologies, and assumptions that provide for the incorporation of the results of liquidity stress tests in future stress testing and for the enhancement of stress testing practices over time.

(ii)Controls and oversight. A bank holding company with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more must establish and maintain a system of controls and oversight that is designed to ensure that its liquidity stress testing processes are effective in meeting the requirements of this section. The controls and oversight must ensure that each liquidity stress test appropriately incorporates conservative assumptions with respect to the stress scenario in paragraph (a)(3) of this section and other elements of the stress test process, taking into consideration the bank holding company's capital structure, risk profile, complexity, activities, size, business lines, legal entity or jurisdiction, and other relevant factors. The assumptions must be approved by the chief risk officer and be subject to the independent review under § 252.34(d) of this subpart.

(iii)Management information systems. The bank holding company must maintain management information systems and data processes sufficient to enable it to effectively and reliably collect, sort, and aggregate data and other information related to liquidity stress testing.

(b)Liquidity buffer requirement.

(1) A bank holding company with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more must maintain a liquidity buffer that is sufficient to meet the projected net stressed cash-flow need over the 30-day planning horizon of a liquidity stress test conducted in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section under each scenario set forth in paragraph (a)(3)(i) through (iii) of this section.

(2)Net stressed cash-flow need. The net stressed cash-flow need for a bank holding company is the difference between the amount of its cash-flow need and the amount of its cash flow sources over the 30-day planning horizon.

(3)Asset requirements. The liquidity buffer must consist of highly liquid assets that are unencumbered, as defined in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section:

(i)Highly liquid asset. A highly liquid asset includes:

(A) Cash;

(B) Securities issued or guaranteed by the United States, a U.S. government agency, or a U.S. government-sponsored enterprise; or

(C) Any other asset that the bank holding company demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board:

(1) Has low credit risk and low market risk;

(2) Is traded in an active secondary two-way market that has committed market makers and independent bona fide offers to buy and sell so that a price reasonably related to the last sales price or current bona fide competitive bid and offer quotations can be determined within one day and settled at that price within a reasonable time period conforming with trade custom; and

(3) Is a type of asset that investors historically have purchased in periods of financial market distress during which market liquidity has been impaired.

(ii)Unencumbered. An asset is unencumbered if it:

(A) Is free of legal, regulatory, contractual, or other restrictions on the ability of such company promptly to liquidate, sell or transfer the asset; and

(B) Is either:

(1) Not pledged or used to secure or provide credit enhancement to any transaction; or

(2) Pledged to a central bank or a U.S. government-sponsored enterprise, to the extent potential credit secured by the asset is not currently extended by such central bank or U.S. government-sponsored enterprise or any of its consolidated subsidiaries.

(iii)Calculating the amount of a highly liquid asset. In calculating the amount of a highly liquid asset included in the liquidity buffer, the bank holding company must discount the fair market value of the asset to reflect any credit risk and market price volatility of the asset.

(iv)Diversification. The liquidity buffer must not contain significant concentrations of highly liquid assets by issuer, business sector, region, or other factor related to the bank holding company's risk, except with respect to cash and securities issued or guaranteed by the United States, a U.S. government agency, or a U.S. government-sponsored enterprise.