Asset and responsibility management


In banking, asset and liability management (ALM) is utilized to manage the risks that arise credited to mismatches between your possessions and liabilities (bills and assets) of the bank.

Banks face several dangers like the liquidity risk, market risk, interest rate risk, credit risk and operational risk. Asset Responsibility management (ALM) is a proper management tool to control interest risk and liquidity risk confronted by banking companies, other financial services companies and businesses.

Banks manage the potential risks of Asset liability mismatch by matching the investments and liabilities in line with the maturity pattern or the complementing the period, by hedging and by securitization.

Asset and responsibility management stay high-priority areas for lender regulators, with an emphasis on management of market risk, liquidity risk, and credit risk. Advantage/liability professionals face the task of keeping rate with industry changes as new regions of risk are identified and new tools and models are developed to help strategy and manage risk.

In other words Asset-Liability Management (ALM) can be known as a risk management strategy made to earn an sufficient return while preserving an appropriate surplus of resources beyond liabilities. It requires into consideration interest levels, earning power, and amount of willingness to defend myself against debt and hence is also known as Surplus Management.

But in the last decade the meaning of asset responsibility management has developed. It really is now found in many various ways under different contexts. ALM, which was actually pioneered by financial institutions and banks, are now widely being found in industries too. The World of Actuaries Task Make on ALM Concepts, Canada, supplies the following explanation for ALM: "Asset Responsibility Management is the on-going process of formulating, implementing, monitoring, and revising strategies related to belongings and liabilities in an attempt to achieve financial targets for confirmed set of risk tolerances and constraints.

Basis of Asset-Liability Management

Traditionally, banking companies and insurance companies used accrual system of accounting for almost all their assets and liabilities. They might take on liabilities - such as deposits, life insurance plans or annuities. They might then commit the proceeds from these liabilities in investments such as loans, bonds or real property. All these investments and liabilities were kept at publication value. Doing so disguised possible risks arising from how the assets and liabilities were organized.

Consider a bank or investment company that borrows 1 Crore (100 Lakhs) at 6 % for each year and lends the same money at 7 % to an extremely rated borrower for 5 years. The net transaction appears profitable the bank is generating a 100 basis point pass on but it includes considerable risk. By the end of a calendar year, the bank will have to find new financing for the loan, that will have 4 more years before it matures. If interest levels have risen, the lender may need to pay a higher interest on the new financing than the fixed 7 % it is getting on its loan.

Suppose, by the end of a time, an applicable 4-year interest is 8 %. The bank is at serious trouble. It is going to earn 7 % on its loan but would need to pay 8 % on its financing. Accrual accounting does not recognize this issue. Based upon accrual accounting, the lender would earn Rs 100, 000 in the first 12 months although in the preceding years it will incur a loss.

The problem in this example was the effect of a mismatch between investments and liabilities. Before the 1970's, such mismatches tended never to be a significant problem. Interest rates in developed countries experienced only moderate fluctuations, so loss credited to asset-liability mismatches were small or trivial. Many firms intentionally mismatched their balance bed sheets and as produce curves were generally upwards sloping, banks could earn a spread by borrowing brief and lending long.

Things began to change in the 1970s, which ushered in a period of volatile rates of interest that continued till the first 1980s. US polices which experienced capped the interest rates so that bankers could pay depositors, was abandoned which resulted in a migration of money deposit overseas. Professionals of many organizations, who were accustomed to thinking in terms of accrual accounting, were poor to recognize this rising risk. Some firms suffered staggering losses. Because the organizations used accrual accounting, it resulted in more of crippled balance bed linens than bankruptcies. Firms got no options but to accrue the losses over a succeeding amount of 5 to a decade.

One example, which drew attention, was that folks mutual life insurance coverage company "The Equitable. During the early 1980s, as the USD yield curve was inverted with short-term rates of interest sky rocketing, the company sold lots of long-term Assured Interest Contracts (GICs) guaranteeing rates of around 16% for cycles up to a decade. Equitable then spent the resources short-term to earn the high interest rates guaranteed on the contracts. But short-term interest rates soon arrived down. Once the Equitable were required to reinvest, it couldn't get even close to the interest rates it was paying on the GICs. The organization was crippled. Eventually, it possessed to demutualize and was bought by the Axa Group.

Increasingly banks and asset management companies began to give attention to Asset-Liability Risk. The situation was not that the worthiness of belongings might show up or that the worthiness of liabilities might grow. It was that capital might be depleted by narrowing of the difference between resources and liabilities and that the worth of possessions and liabilities might fail to move in tandem. Asset-liability risk is predominantly a leveraged form of risk.

The capital of most finance institutions is small relative to the firm's investments or liabilities, therefore small ratio changes in property or liabilities can result in large percentage changes in capital. Accrual accounting could disguise the situation by deferring deficits into the future, but it might not solve the condition. Firms responded by forming asset-liability management (ALM) departments to assess these asset-liability risk.

Techniques for examining Asset-Liability Risk

Techniques for examining asset-liability risk emerged to include Space Analysis and Length Evaluation. These facilitated techniques of taking care of gaps and coordinating duration of property and liabilities. Both techniques did the trick well if assets and liabilities comprised preset cash flows. But instances of callable debt, mortgage loans and mortgages including optio. ns of prepayment and floating rates, posed problems that gap analysis cannot address. Duration examination could address these in theory, but employing sufficiently sophisticated period measures was difficult Accordingly, lenders and insurance firms started using Scenario Analysis.

Under this technique assumptions were made on various conditions, for example: -

* Several interest rate scenarios were specified for the next 5 or 10 years. These specified conditions like declining rates, growing rates, a gradual reduction in rates followed by a sudden climb, etc. Ten or twenty scenarios could be given in every.

* Assumptions were made about the performance of property and liabilities under each situation. They included prepayment rates on home loans or surrender rates on insurance products.

* Assumptions were also made about the firm's performance-the rates at which new business would be obtained for various products, demand for the merchandise.

* Market conditions and economic factors like inflation rates and professional cycles were also included.

* Based after these assumptions, the performance of the firm's balance sheet could be projected under each situation. If projected performance was poor under specific cases, the ALM committee would adjust assets or liabilities to handle the indicated visibility. Let us consider the task for sanctioning a commercial loan. The borrower, who approaches the bank, has to appraise the lenders credit division on various parameters like industry leads, operational efficiency, financial efficiency, management qualities and other things, which would effect the working of the company. Based on this appraisal, the lenders would then make a credit-grading sheet after covering all the aspects of the business and the business in which the company is. Then your borrower would then be billed a certain rate of interest, which would cover the chance of lending.

* But the key shortcoming of circumstance analysis was that, it was highly reliant on the choice of scenarios. In addition, it required that many assumptions were to be produced about how precisely specific assets or liabilities will perform under specific situation. Gradually the organizations recognized a potential for different type of risks, which was overlooked in ALM analyses. Also the deregulation of the interest levels in US in mid 70 s compelled the finance institutions to undertake energetic planning for the framework of the total amount sheet. The uncertainty of interest movements gave climb to Interest Rate Risk thereby triggering banks to consider processes to control this risk. Within the wake of interest risk emerged Liquidity Risk and Credit Risk, which became inherent the different parts of risk for banks. The recognition of these risks brought Advantage Responsibility Management to the centre-stage of financial intermediation. Today even Collateral Risk, which until a couple of years ago was presented with only honorary mention in every but a few company ALM reviews, is now an indispensable part of ALM for most companies. . Some companies have removed even further to add Counterparty Credit Risk, Sovereign Risk, as well as Product Design and Costs Risk as part of their overall ALM.

* Now a day's a firm has different known reasons for doing ALM. Although some companies view ALM as a conformity and risk mitigation exercise, others have started out using ALM as tactical framework to achieve the company's financial aims. Some of the business reasons companies now state for implementing a highly effective ALM construction include attaining competitive advantage and increasing the value of the organization.

Asset-Liability Management Approach

ALM in its most evident sense is dependant on funds management. Money management signifies the key of sound standard bank planning and financial management. Although money practices, techniques, and norms have been revised substantially in recent years, it isn't a new concept. Cash management is the process of taking care of the get spread around between interest received and interest paid while ensuring enough liquidity. Therefore, cash management has following three components, which have been discussed quickly.

A. Liquidity Management

Liquidity represents the capability to accommodate lowers in liabilities and fund boosts in assets. A business has adequate liquidity when it can buy sufficient money, either by increasing liabilities or by transforming assets, promptly with a reasonable cost. Liquidity is vital in all organizations to pay for expected and surprising balance sheet fluctuations and provide funds for growth. The price tag on liquidity is a function of market conditions and market notion of the risks, both interest and credit dangers, reflected in the total amount sheet and off-balance sheet activities in the case of a standard bank. If liquidity needs aren't attained through liquid property holdings, a bank or investment company may be forced to restructure or acquire additional liabilities under undesirable market conditions. Liquidity vulnerability can stem from both internally (institution-specific) and externally made factors. Sound liquidity risk management should addresses both types of exposure. External liquidity hazards can be geographic, systemic or instrument-specific. Internal liquidity risk relates basically to the conception of an organization in its various marketplaces: local, local, national or international. Persistence of the adequacy of any bank's liquidity position will depend upon an examination of its: -

* Historical funding requirements

* Current liquidity position

* Anticipated future funding needs

* Resources of funds

* Present and anticipated asset quality

* Present and future earnings capacity

* Present and organized capital position

As all finance institutions are damaged by changes in the monetary local climate, the monitoring of economic and money market movements is key to liquidity planning. Sensible financial management can lessen the negative effects of these fads while accentuating the positive ones. Management must have a powerful contingency plan that identifies lowest and maximum liquidity needs and weighs in at alternative courses of action made to meet those needs. The expense of preserving liquidity is another important prerogative. An establishment that maintains a strong liquidity position may do so at the opportunity cost of creating higher earnings. The amount of liquid property a loan provider should hold will depend on the stableness of its deposit composition and the potential for rapid extension of its loan profile. If first deposit accounts are composed mainly of small stable accounts, a comparatively low allowance for liquidity is necessary.

Additionally, management must consider the current evaluations by regulatory and rating firms when planning liquidity needs. Once liquidity needs have been identified, management must determine how to meet them through asset management, liability management, or a blend of both.

B. Property Management

Many bankers (primarily small ones) generally have little influence over the size of their total assets. Liquid assets permit a standard bank to provide funds to gratify increased demand for lending options. But finance institutions, which rely only on asset management, focus on adjusting the price and availability of credit and the amount of liquid possessions. However, resources that tend to be assumed to be liquid are occasionally difficult to liquidate. For instance, investment securities may be pledged against public deposits or repurchase agreements, or may be intensely depreciated because of interest changes. Furthermore, the holding of liquid possessions for liquidity purposes is less attractive because of skinny income spreads.

Asset liquidity, or how "salable" the bank's possessions are in terms of both time and cost, is of principal importance in asset management. To maximize profitability, management must carefully ponder the full come back on liquid resources (yield plus liquidity value) against the higher come back associated with less liquid possessions. Income derived from higher yielding property may be offset when a forced sales, at less than book value, is essential because of undesirable balance sheet fluctuations.

Seasonal, cyclical, or other factors may cause aggregate outstanding lending options and deposits to go in opposite directions and lead to loan demand, which exceeds available deposit money. A standard bank relying purely on advantage management would restrict loan growth to that which could be reinforced by available debris. The decision if to use responsibility sources should be predicated on a complete examination of seasonal, cyclical, and other factors, and the expenses involved. In addition to supplementing advantage liquidity, liability resources of liquidity may provide as an alternative even when property sources are available.

C. Responsibility Management

Liquidity needs can be found through the discretionary acquisition of money on the basis of interest competition. This does not preclude the option of selling property to meet financing needs, and conceptually, the option of asset and liability options should result in less liquidity maintenance cost. The alternative costs of available discretionary liabilities can be in comparison to the chance cost of selling various investments. The major difference between liquidity in much larger banking institutions and in smaller banks is that greater bankers are better able to control the particular level and composition of these liabilities and resources. When funds are essential, larger lenders have a wider variety of options from which to select the least costly method of generating funds. The capability to obtain additional liabilities signifies liquidity probable. The marginal cost of liquidity and the price of incremental funds acquired are of paramount importance in evaluating liability resources of liquidity. Account must get to such factors as the rate of recurrence with that your lenders must regularly refinance maturing purchased liabilities, as well as an evaluation of the bank's ongoing capacity to obtain money under normal market conditions.

The clear difficulty in estimating the last mentioned is that, until the bank goes to the market to borrow, it cannot determine with complete certainty that money will be accessible and/or at a cost, that will maintain a good yield pass on. Changes in money market conditions could cause a rapid deterioration in a bank's capacity to borrow at a favorable rate. In this context, liquidity symbolizes the capability to attract funds in the market when needed, at an acceptable cost vis- -vis property yield. The usage of discretionary funding options for a loan provider is often a function of its position and reputation in the money markets.

Although the acquisition of funds at a competitive cost has enabled many banking companies to meet extending customer loan demand, misuse or poor implementation of responsibility management can have severe consequences. Further, responsibility management is not riskless. This is because concentrations in money options increase liquidity risk. For instance, a bank or investment company relying greatly on international interbank debris will experience funding problems if overseas markets understand instability in U. S. banks or the market. Replacing overseas source funds might be difficult and costly because the domestic market may view the bank's abrupt need for funds adversely. Again over-reliance on liability management may cause a tendency to reduce holdings of short-term securities, relax advantage liquidity standards, and result in a large concentration of short-term liabilities helping assets of longer maturity. During times of small money, this could cause an earnings press and an illiquid condition.

Also if rate competition advances in the amount of money market, a loan provider may incur a high cost of money and may choose to lessen credit specifications to book higher yielding loans and securities. When a loan company is purchasing liabilities to support assets, which already are on its books, the bigger cost of purchased cash may lead to a negative yield spread.

Preoccupation with obtaining funds at the lowest possible cost, without considering maturity distribution, greatly intensifies a bank's exposure to the risk of interest rate fluctuations. That's the reason banks who especially rely on inexpensive funding options, management must constantly be familiar with the structure, characteristics, and diversification of its financing sources.

Procedure for Study of Asset Responsibility Management

In order to determine the efficacy of Property Liability Management one has to follow a comprehensive procedure of reviewing different aspects of internal control, money management and financial percentage analysis. Below a step-by-step procedure of ALM assessment in case of a lender has been defined.

Step 1

The loan provider/ financial claims and interior management information should be assessed to assess the property/liability combination with particular emphasis on.

* Total liquidity position (Percentage of highly liquid assets to total property)

* Current liquidity position (Minimum percentage of highly liquid resources to demand liabilities/deposits)

* Ratio of Non Performing Belongings to Total Assets

* Percentage of loans to deposits

* Ratio of short-term demand debris to total deposits

* Percentage of long-term loans to short term demand deposits

* Percentage of contingent liabilities for loans to total loans

* Ratio of pledged securities to total securities

Step 2

It is usually to be established that whether standard bank management sufficiently assesses and programs its liquidity needs and if the bank has short-term resources of funds. This should include

* Review of internal management studies on liquidity needs and sources of gratifying these need. .

* Assessing the bank's ability to meet liquidity needs

Step 3

The lenders future development and expansion plans, with concentrate on financing and liquidity management aspects should be investigated. This entails.

* Identifying whether loan provider management has effectively tackled the problem of need for liquid property to funding sources over a long-term basis.

* Looking at the bank's budget projections for a certain time period in the foreseeable future.

* Determining if the bank really must develop its activities. What exactly are the sources of financing for such expansion and whether there are projections of changes in the bank's asset and liability structure.

* Evaluating the bank's development plans and determining if the bank can attract planned cash and achieve the projected property growth.

* Determining if the bank or investment company has included sensitivity to interest risk in the development of its long term financing strategy.

Step 4

Examining the bank's interior audit report in regards to quality and success in terms of liquidity management.

Step 5

Reviewing the bank's plan of gratifying unanticipated liquidity needs by.

* Determining if the bank's management evaluated the potential expenses that the lender will have therefore of unanticipated financial or functional problems.

* Determining the choice sources of financing liquidity and/or resources subject to requirement.

* Determining the impact of the bank's liquidity management on online income position.

Step 6

Preparing an Asset/Liability Management Internal Control Questionnaire that ought to include the following

If the panel of directors has been regular with its duties and obligations and included

o A type of expert for liquidity management decisions.

o A mechanism to coordinate asset and liability management decisions.

o A method to identify liquidity needs and the means to meet those needs.

o Suggestions for the level of liquid investments and other resources of funds in romantic relationship to needs.

Does the look and budgeting function consider liquidity requirements.

Are the inner management reports for liquidity management satisfactory in conditions of effective decision making and monitoring of decisions.

Are interior management reports relating to liquidity needs ready regularly and examined as appropriate by mature management and the plank of directors.

Whether the bank's insurance plan of asset and liability management prohibits or identifies certain limitations for attracting lent means from bank or investment company related people (organizations) in order to satisfy liquidity needs.

Does the bank's insurance policy of asset and responsibility management provide for an adequate control over the positioning of contingent liabilities of the bank.

Is this information considered an enough basis for analyzing internal control in that there are no significant zero areas not covered in this questionnaire that impair any settings.

Guidelines on Asset-Liability Management (ALM) System -Amendments

Reserve Bank possessed issued guidelines on ALM system vide Round dated February 10, 1999, which covered, among others, interest rate risk and liquidity risk dimension / reporting framework and prudential limitations. As a way of measuring liquidity management, finance institutions are required to monitor their cumulative mismatches across all time buckets in their Declaration of Structural Liquidity by creating internal prudential restrictions with the endorsement of the Mother board / Management Committee. According to the rules, the mismatches (negative space) at that time buckets of 1-14 days and 15-28 days in the normal course, aren't to go beyond 20 per cent of the cash outflows in the particular time buckets.

2. Having respect to the international tactics, the amount of sophistication of lenders in India and the need for a sharper examination of the effectiveness of liquidity management, Reserve Standard bank of India has researched guidelines on 24th October 2007 and decided that :

(a) the banking companies may adopt a more granular method of way of measuring of liquidity risk by splitting the very first time bucket (1-14 days and nights at present) in the Statement of Structural Liquidity into three time buckets viz. Following day, 2-7 days and 8-14 days and nights.

(b) the Assertion of Structural Liquidity may be put together on best available data coverage, in credited thought of non-availability of a fully networked environment. Bankers may, however, make concerted and requisite work to ensure coverage of 100 per cent data regularly.

(c) the web cumulative negative mismatches through the Next day, 2-7 days, 8-14 days and nights and 15-28 times buckets shouldn't go over 5 %, 10%, 15 % and 20 % of the cumulative cash outflows in the individual time buckets in order to recognise the cumulative effect on liquidity.

(d) banks may undertake strong liquidity management and really should prepare the Affirmation of Structural Liquidity on daily basis. The Statement of Structural Liquidity, may, however, be reported to RBI, once a month, as on the third Wednesday of every month.

3. The format of Declaration of Structural Liquidity has been revised suitably which is furnished. The guidance for slotting the future cash moves of bankers in the revised time buckets has also been suitably modified and is furnished at Annex II.

4. To allow the bankers to fine tune their existing MIS as per the modified rules, the modified norms as well as the supervisory reporting as per the revised format would commence with effect from the period beginning January 1, 2008 and the reporting consistency would continue to be monthly for the present. However, the occurrence of supervisory reporting of the Structural Liquidity position will be fortnightly, with result from the fortnight start Apr 1, 2008.

Asset Responsibility Management in Indian Context

The post-reform bank circumstance in India was marked by interest rate deregulation, entry of new private banking institutions, and gamut of services along with higher use of information technolog. To handle these pressures lenders were required to evolve strategies rather than ad hoc solutions. Recognising the necessity of Asset Liability management to build up a strong and sound banking. system, the RBI has turn out with ALM guidelines for banking companies and FIs in Apr 1999. The Indian ALM framework rests on three pillars.

ALM Organisation (ALCO)

The ALCO or the Advantage Responsibility Management Committee comprising the banks older management like the CEO should be accountable for sticking with the limits place by the plank as well as for deciding the business strategy of the bank based on the banking companies budget and chose risk management goals. ALCO is a decision-making product in charge of balance sheet planning from a risk return perspective including tactical management of interest and liquidity risk. The banking institutions could also authorise their Asset-Liability Management Committee (ALCO) to repair interest rates on Deposits and Advances, at the mercy of their reporting to the Panel immediately thereafter. The bankers also needs to fix maximum spread over the PLR with the approval of the ALCO/Table for all developments other than consumer credit.

ALM Information System

The ALM Information System is required for the assortment of information accurately, sufficiently and expeditiously. Information is the main element to the ALM process. An excellent information system gives the bank management a total picture of the bank's balance sheet.

ALM Process

The basic ALM functions involving identification, measurement and management of risk parameter. The RBI in its rules has asked Indian lenders to work with traditional techniques like Difference Analysis for monitoring interest rate and liquidity risk. However RBI is anticipating Indian banks to go towards advanced techniques like Duration, Simulation, VaR in the future. For the accrued portfolio, most Indian Private Sector banking institutions use Gap evaluation, but are slowly but surely moving towards period analysis. Most of the foreign banks use duration research and are expected to move towards advanced methods like Value at Risk for the complete balance sheet. some foreign banks are already using VaR for the whole balance sheet.


ALM has progressed since the early 1980's. Today, financial companies are progressively more using market value accounting for several business lines. That is true of universal banks which may have trading operations. Techniques of ALM also have evolved. The growth of OTC derivatives marketplaces has facilitated a variety of hedging strategies. A significant development has been securitization, which allows firms to immediately talk about asset-liability risk by removing possessions or liabilities off their balance bedding. This not only eliminates asset-liability risk; it also frees up the total amount sheet for home based business.

Thus, the opportunity of ALM activities has widened. Today, ALM departments are dealing with (non-trading) forex risks and also other dangers. Also, ALM has long to non-financial firms. Corporations have implemented techniques of ALM to handle interest-rate exposures, liquidity risk and foreign exchange risk. They are using related techniques to address commodities risks. For example, airlines' hedging of fuel prices or manufacturers' hedging of material prices tend to be provided as ALM. Thus it could be securely said that Advantage Responsibility Management will continue to grow in future and an efficient ALM technique goes quite a distance in managing size, mix, maturity, rate sensitivity, quality and liquidity of the belongings and liabilities so as to earn a sufficient and acceptable go back on the profile.

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