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Using Credit Risk Models for Regulatory Capital: Issues and Options

by Beverly J. Hirtle of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York,
Mark Levonian of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco,
Marc Saidenberg of the Federal Reserve of New York,
Stefan Walter of the Federal Reserve of New York, and
David Wright Federal Reserve Board of Governors

March 2001

Abstract: The authors describe the issues and options that would be associated with the development of regulatory minimum capital standards for credit risk based on banks' internal risk measurement models. Their goal is to provide a sense of the features that an internal-models (IM) approach to regulatory capital would likely incorporate, and to stimulate discussion among financial institutions, supervisors, and other interested parties about the many practical and conceptual issues involved in structuring a workable IM regulatory capital regime for credit risk. The authors focus on three main areas: prudential standards defining the risk estimate to be used in the capital requirements, model standards describing the essential components of a comprehensive credit risk model, and validation techniques that could be used by supervisors and banks to assess model accuracy. The discussion highlights a range of alternatives for each of these areas.

JEL Classification: G21, G28.

Published in: FRBNY Economic Policy Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, (March 2001), pp. 19-36.

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