Supervisory guidance for managing risks associated with the settlement of foreign exchange transactions - consultative document

August 2012

Since the BCBS's Supervisory guidance for managing settlement risk in foreign exchange transactions (2000) was published, the foreign exchange market has made significant strides in reducing the risks associated with the settlement of FX transactions. Substantial FX settlement-related risks remain, however, not least because of the rapid growth in the FX trading.

The consultative document aims to review and update the last supervisory guidance in order to ensure that such risks are properly managed: it will provide a more comprehensive and detailed view on governance arrangements and the management of principal risk, replacement cost risk and all other FX settlement-related risks. In addition, it promotes the use of payment-versus-payment arrangements, where practicable, to reduce principal risk.

The guidance is organised into seven "guidelines" that address governance, principal risk, replacement cost risk, liquidity risk, operational risk, legal risk, and capital for FX transactions. The key recommendations emphasise the following:

  • A bank should ensure that all FX settlement-related risks are effectively managed and that its practices are consistent with those used for managing other counterparty exposures of similar size and duration.
  • A bank should reduce its principal risk as much as practicable by settling FX transactions through the use of FMIs that provide PVP arrangements. Where PVP settlement is not practicable, a bank should properly identify, measure, control and reduce the size and duration of its remaining principal risk.
  • A bank should ensure that when analysing capital needs, all FX settlement-related risks should be considered, including principal risk and replacement cost risk and that sufficient capital is held against these potential exposures, as appropriate.

The Basel Committee welcomes comments on this consultative document. Comments should be submitted by 12 October 2012 by e-mail to: baselcommittee@bis.org. Alternatively, comments may be sent by post to the Secretariat of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Bank for International Settlements, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland. All comments may be published on the website of the Bank for International Settlements unless a comment contributor specifically requests confidential treatment.