Can Accounting Rules Be Made Neutral for Bank Capital Regulation?

Journal of Governance and Regulation Volume 1, Issue 3, 2012

27 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2012 Last revised: 28 Jun 2012

Guoxiang Song

University of Greenwich - Accounting and Finance

Date Written: February 4, 2012

Abstract

This paper evaluates several methods which can possibly be used to minimize the pro-cyclical impact of accounting rules on bank capital regulation. Improving accounting rules cannot eliminate the pro-cyclicality problem as the recently proposed expected credit loss impairment model for historical cost accounting may be moving towards using information inputs for fair values. Limiting the trading activities accounted for by fair values may reduce the pro-cyclicality. However, it cannot eliminate the impact of fair values in a liquidity crisis. The most effective method is to exclude the unrealized accounting gains or losses from regulatory capital. But it needs a report of capital ratios based on accounting measures to help regulators read the early warning signals emitted by the accounting information.

Keywords: Bank capital regulation, Leverage ratio, Tier 1 capital ratio, Fair value accounting, Historical cost accounting, Financial crisis, Pro-cyclicality, Expected credit losses

JEL Classification: G01, G18, G21, M41

Suggested Citation

Song, Guoxiang, Can Accounting Rules Be Made Neutral for Bank Capital Regulation? (February 4, 2012). Journal of Governance and Regulation Volume 1, Issue 3, 2012 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1999467 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1999467

Guoxiang Song (Contact Author)

University of Greenwich - Accounting and Finance ( email )

United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www2.gre.ac.uk/about/schools/business/about/departments/accfin/staff/guoxiang-song

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