The Liquidity Coverage Ratio and restricted-use committed liquidity facilities
In January 2013, the Basel Committee's oversight body, the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision (GHOS), agreed the final form of the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR). At that time, the GHOS asked the Committee to undertake some additional work on liquidity disclosure, the use of market-based indicators of liquidity within the regulatory framework, and the interaction between the LCR and the provision of central bank facilities. The Committee has completed this work, and has published a package of material that responds to these requests.
The Committee agreed to modify the definition of HQLA within the LCR to provide greater use of Committed Liquidity Facilities (CLFs) provided by central banks. The use of CLFs within the LCR has to now been limited to those jurisdictions with insufficient HQLA to meet the needs of the banking system. The Committee has agreed that, subject to a range of conditions and limitations, a restricted version of a CLF (an RCLF) may be used by all jurisdictions.
Whether jurisdictions choose to make use of RCLFs is a matter for national discretion. Importantly, central banks are under no obligation to offer them. Furthermore, the restrictions agreed by the Committee are intended to limit the use of RCLFs in normal times, and therefore maintain the principle that banks should self-insure against liquidity shocks, and that central banks should remain the lenders of last resort. These restrictions may, however, be relaxed during times of stress, when HQLA might otherwise be in short supply.