Internal Pricing and the Effect of Liquidity Requirements : A qualitative review of Swedish banks

University essay from KTH/Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.)

Abstract: The fundamental business model of banks is based on receiving short-term deposits and giving long-term loans which means that active banks are naturally subject to liquidity risk. During the last financial crisis poor liquidity risk management was seen as one of the main causes which has led to an increased focus on the management of liquidity risk and the introduction of the first minimum requirements for liquidity in banks, through Basel III. As the topic of internal pricing in banks and the effects of the introduction of the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) and the net stable funding ratio (NSFR) is not extensively covered by existing research, the aim of this thesis is to identify and discuss internal pricing and liquidity cost allocation mechanisms used in practice by Swedish banks. The study also aims to investigate the impact of changes in liquidity requirements on internal pricing and liquidity cost-benefit allocation mechanisms in a Swedish setting. The key findings are that firstly, there are large variations regarding the sophistication of banks funds transfer pricing practices and liquidity cost allocation methods. The banks using less sophisticated methods may be exposed to model risk if they themselves are not aware of the implications of this. Two consequences of using simplified approaches may be distorted assessment of profitability and unwanted maturity transformation. Secondly, the findings indicate that the link between risk management and internal pricing in the banks is rather weak. Lastly, the introduction of LCR and NSFR have had a significant impact on the bank's risk management but the effect on internal pricing practices and methods for allocating liquidity costs is very limited. 

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