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Compliance with Basel 2.5: banks’ approaches to implementing stressed VaR

Lukasz Prorokowski (Rogue Consulting, Lukas Biosurgery, London, UK)
Hubert Prorokowski (University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA)

Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance

ISSN: 1358-1988

Article publication date: 4 November 2014



The purpose of this paper is to outline how banks are coping with the new regulatory challenges posed by stressed value at risk (SVaR). The Basel Committee has introduced three measures of capital charges for market risk: incremental risk charge (IRC), SVaR and comprehensive risk measure (CRM). This paper is designed to analyse the methodologies for SVaR deployed at different banks to highlight the SVaR-related challenges stemming from complying with Basel 2.5. This revised market risk framework comes into force in Europe in 2012. Among the wide range of changes is the requirement for banks to calculate SVaR at a 99 per cent confidence interval over a period of significant stress.


The current research project is based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with nine universal banks and one financial services company to explore the strides major banks are taking to implement SVaR methodologies while complying with Basel 2.5.


This paper focuses on strengths and weaknesses of the SVaR approach while reviewing peer practices of implementing SVaR modelling. Interestingly, the surveyed banks have not indicated significant challenges associated with implementation of SVaR, and the reported problems boil down to dealing with the poor quality of market data and, as in cases of IRC and CRM, the lack of regulatory guidance. As far as peer practices of implementing SVaR modelling are concerned, the majority of the surveyed banks utilise historical simulations and apply both the absolute and relative measures of volatility for different risk factors.


The academic studies that explicitly analyse challenges associated with implementing the stressed version of VaR are scarce. Filling in the gap in the existing academic literature, this paper aims to shed some explanatory light on the issues major banks are facing when calculating SVaR. In doing so, this study adequately bridges theory and practice by contributing to the fierce debate on compliance with Basel 2.5.



Prorokowski, L. and Prorokowski, H. (2014), "Compliance with Basel 2.5: banks’ approaches to implementing stressed VaR", Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 339-348.



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