Interest Rate Risk

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Interest Rate Risk (IRR) Management
What is Interest Rate Risk :
Interest rate risk is the risk where changes in market interest rates might adversely affect a bank’s financial condition.  The management of Interest Rate Risk should be one of the critical components of market risk management in banks. The regulatory restrictions in the past had greatly reduced many of the risks in the banking system. Deregulation of interest rates has, however, exposed them to the adverse impacts of interest rate risk.  What is the Impact of IRR:

 The immediate impact of changes in interest rates is on the Net Interest Income (NII). A long term impact of changing interest rates is on the bank’s networth since the economic value of a bank’s assets, liabilities and off-balance sheet positions get affected due to variation in market interest rates. The Net Interest Income (NII) or Net Interest Margin (NIM) of banks is dependent on the movements of interest rates.  Any mismatches in the cash flows (fixed assets or liabilities) or repricing dates (floating assets or liabilities), expose bank’s NII or NIM to variations.  The earning of assets and the cost of liabilities are  closely related to market interest rate volatility.  The interest rate risk when viewed from these two perspectives is known as ‘earnings perspective’ and ‘economic value’ perspective, respectively.  Management of interest rate risk aims at capturing the risks arising from the maturity and repricing mismatches and is measured both from the earnings and economic value perspective. (a) Earnings perspective involves analysing the impact of changes in interest rates on accrual or reported earnings in the near term. This is measured by measuring the changes in the Net Interest Income (NII) or Net Interest Margin (NIM) i.e. the difference between the total interest income and the total interest expense.  (b) Economic Value perspective involves analysing the changes of impact og interest on the expected cash flows on assets minus the expected cash flows on liabilities plus the net cash flows on off-balance sheet items. It focuses on the risk to networth arising from all repricing mismatches and other interest rate sensitive positions. The economic value perspective identifies risk arising from long-term interest rate gaps.   

BCBS Principles for Interest Rate Risk Management

 Board and senior management oversight of interest rate risk Principle 1: In order to carry out its responsibilities, the board of directors in a bank should approve strategies and policies with respect to interest rate risk management and ensure that senior management takes the steps necessary to monitor and control these risks. The board of directors should be informed regularly of the interest rate risk exposure of the bank in order to assess the monitoring and controlling of such risk.  Principle 2: Senior management must ensure that the structure of the bank's business and the level of interest rate risk it assumes are effectively managed, that appropriate policies and procedures are established to control and limit these risks, and that resources are available for evaluating and controlling interest rate risk.  Principle 3: Banks should clearly define the individuals and/or committees responsible for managing interest rate risk and should ensure that there is adequate separation of duties in key elements of the risk management process to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Banks should have risk measurement, monitoring and control functions with clearly defined duties that are sufficiently independent from position-taking functions of the bank and which report risk exposures directly to senior management and the board of directors. Larger or more complex banks should have a designated independent unit responsible for the design and administration of the bank's interest rate risk measurement, monitoring and control functions.  Adequate risk management policies and procedures...
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