A template for recapitalising too-big-to-fail banks

3 June 2013

A proposed creditor-funded recapitalisation mechanism for too-big-to-fail banks that reach the point of failure ensures that shareholders and uninsured private sector creditors of such banks, rather than taxpayers, bear the cost of resolution. The template is simple, fully respects the existing creditor hierarchy and can be applied to any failing entity within a banking group. The mechanism partially writes off creditors to recapitalise the bank over a weekend, providing them with immediate certainty on their maximum loss. The bank is subsequently sold in a manner that enables the market to determine the ultimate losses to creditors. As such, the mechanism can eliminate moral hazard throughout a banking group in a cost-efficient way that also limits the risk to financial stability. The creditor-funded mechanism is contrasted with other recapitalisation approaches, including bail-in and "single point of entry" strategies.

JEL classification: G21, G28