Credit Risk Modelling: Current Practices and Applications

April 1999

Over the last decade, a number of the world's largest banks have developed sophisticated systems in an attempt to model the credit risk arising from important aspects of their business lines. Such models are intended to aid banks in quantifying, aggregating and managing risk across geographical and product lines. The outputs of these models also play increasingly important roles in banks' risk management and performance measurement processes, including performance-based compensation, customer profitability analysis, risk-based pricing and, to a lesser (but growing) degree, active portfolio management and capital structure decisions. The Task Force recognises that credit risk modelling may indeed prove to result in better internal risk management, and may have the potential to be used in the supervisory oversight of banking organisations. However, before a portfolio modelling approach could be used in the formal process of setting regulatory capital requirements for credit risk, regulators would have to be confident not only that models are being used to actively manage risk, but also that they are conceptually sound, empirically validated, and produce capital requirements that are comparable across institutions. At this time, significant hurdles, principally concerning data availability and model validation, still need to be cleared before these objectives can be met, and the Committee sees difficulties in overcoming these hurdles in the timescale envisaged for amending the Capital Accord.

The Committee welcomes additional efforts in addressing these and other key issues, and looks forward to a constructive dialogue with the industry. The Committee is seeking comments on this report from all interested parties by 1 October 1999.