Rob Wessel, Jennifer Mersereau and Nicolas Dion

Part #3 of 3: Canadian Banks – Are Falling Global Reserve/Capital Rankings Increasing Regulatory Risk?

In our three-part series, Canadian Banks: How Worried Should You Be (about Rising Energy Losses, Low Reserves, and Recessionary Alberta)?, we have been reviewing the challenges facing the sector. In this Insight, we discuss another potential issue facing the Canadian banks: rising regulatory risk. With the sector near the bottom of global rankings for key capital and reserve ratios, we discuss the potential for policy makers to…

Part #2 of 3: Canadian Banks – How Worried Should You Be (about Rising Energy Losses, Low Reserves, and Recessionary Alberta)?

With a 20% rise in loan losses in fiscal Q1, it would appear that Canadian banks are entering at least a mild credit cycle. In our view, the magnitude of provisions for credit losses taken over the next several quarters will be influenced by three issues: (i) an over 50% decline in the price in oil is placing stress on more than $100 bln in drawn/undrawn…

Part #1 of 3: Canadian Banks – Are Sectoral Allowances the Solution to Low Reserve Ratios?

The Canadian banks have very low reserves-to-loans ratios (“reserve ratios”). Why? The banks are generally restricted by accounting rules from setting aside specific reserves until after there has been some form of impairment/loss event (often referred to as an “incurred loss” model). This makes it very difficult for the Canadian banks to set aside allowances/reserves for impaired loans in advance of loans going “bad”. The result,…

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