Sound Practices for Banks' Interactions with Highly Leveraged Institutions

January 1999

The management of credit risk in respect of HLIs involves the same principles as management of credit risk in general, but must also take account of the particular types of counterparty risk associated with such institutions. The Committee will shortly publish general principles for the management of credit risk. This paper should be seen as complementary to that effort, and is a response to the specific challenges posed by credit risk emanating from interactions with HLIs. The Committee's review of banks' dealings with HLIs has revealed that in many cases there has not been an appropriate balance among the key elements of the credit risk management process, with an over reliance on collateralisation of mark-to-market exposures. Insufficient weight was placed on in-depth credit analyses of the HLI counterparties involved and the effective measurement and management of exposures. Moreover, in some cases, competitive forces and the desire to conduct business with certain counterparties may have led banks to make exceptions to their firm-wide credit standards.