FMA Minimum Standards for the Risk Management

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FMA Minimum Standards for the Risk Management and Granting of
Foreign Currency Loans and Loans with Repayment Vehicles
of 7 December 2012 (FMA-FXTT-MS)
These FMA Minimum Standards constitute a new version of the
1.
FMA Minimum Standards for Granting and Managing Foreign Currency Loans of 16
October 2003 (FMA-FX-MS);
2.
FMA Minimum Standards for Granting and Managing Loans with Repayment Vehicles
of 16 October 2003 (FMA-TT-MS); and the
3.
FMA Minimum Standards for Granting and Managing Foreign Currency Loans and
Loans with Repayment Vehicles of 16 October 2003,
Extension of 22 March 2010 (FMA-FXTT-EMS)
and shall replace them upon publication.
These Minimum Standards do not constitute an FMA regulation, but present the Austrian
Financial Market Authority’s (FMA) legal view on foreign currency loans and loans with
repayment vehicles on the basis of Article 39 para. 1 and 2 of the Austrian Banking Act
(Bankwesengesetz - BWG). Rights and obligations beyond the legal provisions cannot be
derived from the Minimum Standards. With reference to Article 39 para. 1 and 2 Banking
Act, the FMA expects credit institutions to adhere to these Minimum Standards when
granting and managing foreign currency loans and loans with repayment vehicles.
These FMA Minimum Standards shall not prevent credit institutions from setting higher
standards. If specific points go beyond the due diligence obligations set forth in Article 39
Banking Act, such points are to be considered recommendations.
Page 1
Preamble
Since 2008, the specific risks associated with foreign currency loans and loans with
repayment vehicles for credit institutions (especially credit and refinancing risk as well as
concentration risk) and for borrowers (currency and interest rate risk as well as the
performance risk arising from the repayment vehicle) have become increasingly visible. In
addition, it has become clear that limiting such risks by contractual means (i.e. conversions,
liquidity premiums) proves to be difficult in practice in the case of loans to consumers and
also exposes credit institutions to high reputational risk.
With regard to loans with repayment vehicles, the FMA and the Oesterreichische
Nationalbank (OeNB) have observed the following developments:

In the last year, about two-thirds of the outstanding volume of repayment vehicles were
exposed to direct market risks – most notably in the form of fund-linked life insurance
plans, but also in the form of investment funds.

At the aggregate level, the capital accumulated in the repayment vehicles fell short of the
value it should have attained according to the repayment schedule.

The funding gap varied substantially between individual products and product
categories.
The outstanding volume of foreign currency loans and loans with repayment vehicles granted
to households in Austria is very high by international standards and harbours a potential for
systemic risk. This circumstance is also criticised heavily by international financial institutions
(in particular the IMF, World Bank and EBRD) on a regular basis and may compromise the
reputation of Austria’s financial market.
As of 21 September 2011, pursuant to the EU regulation no. 1092/2010, the European
Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) has published a set of recommendations concerning the
granting of foreign currency loans (ESRB/2011/1) in which the systemic risks implied by an
excessive
granting
of
foreign
currency
loans
are
stressed
(see
also
http://www.esrb.europa.eu).
Page 2
Owing to the inherent risks to credit institutions and the systemic relevance regarding the
topic of foreign currency loans and repayment vehicles, the FMA, developing further the
above-mentioned
FMA
Minimum
Standards
and
taking
into
account
the
ESRB
recommendations for the fulfillment of the banking supervision objectives of Article 69 para. 1
BWG, considers a sustained reduction in banking risks in accordance with Article 39 para. 1
and 2 BWG with regard to the overall outstanding volume of foreign currency loans and loans
with repayment vehicles to non-banks as necessary. The FMA expects credit institutions to
adhere to the new FMA Minimum Standards of 7 December 2012 in the context of granting
foreign currency loans and loans with repayment vehicles. On behalf of the FMA, the OeNB
will review compliance with these Minimum Standards in the course of on-site inspections.
Moreover, the high exposure of private households necessitates special measures for this
market segment. Owing to the risks mentioned above, foreign currency loans to private
consumers are not suitable as a mass product, but constitute a special product for which it is
necessary to take each individual case and the specific situation of each potential customer
into closer consideration. On the basis of Article 39 BWG, foreign currency loans are
generally unsuitable for consumers, particularly as a standard mortgage financing product.
Credit institutions are to pay increased attention to providing the necessary information on
the specific characteristics and risks associated with this product.
The FMA acts on the assumption that any credit institution, whenever granting foreign
currency loans to borrowers domiciled outside of Austria, complies with the measures
concerning foreign currency loans in force in the respective country. For this purpose, it is
irrelevant whether the granting of loans is performed by cross-border services, by a branch
or by a subsidiary credit institution. This means that the measures taken shall, where
applicable, be applied on an individual, subconsolidated and consolidated level.
The measures with respect to foreign currency loans taken in the relevant host member
states and/or third countries shall be published on the FMA website in German or English
upon notification of the supervisors of the host member states and/or third countries.
Page 3
I. Scope of application and definitions
1.
These Minimum Standards shall apply to all credit institutions entitled to carry out the
credit business (Article 1 para. 1 no. 3 BWG) and to all credit institutions from member
states acting in Austria within the scope of the right of establishment or on the basis of
the free trade in services (Article 9 BWG). Section II and Section III, chapter 4 as well as
Section IV shall, where applicable, be applied on an individual, subconsolidated and
consolidated level. Chapter 5 exclusively refers to business activity in Austria.
2.
Section II (risk management) and Section III, chapter 4 (information to borrowers) refers
to loans to non-banks within the meaning of Article 2 no. 22 BWG1. The requirements
put forth in chapter 4 may be waived in the case of companies, which possess sufficient
experience, know-how and resources (e.g. a treasury department), and which can
therefore draw on relevant information for their decisions with regard to foreign currency
loans and loans with repayments vehicles.
3.
Section III, chapter 5 (special provisions for consumers) exclusively refers to loans to
consumers within the meaning of Article 1 para. 1 no. 2 of the Austrian Consumer
Protection Act (Konsumentenschutzgesetz – KSchG). Self-employed persons and
freelancers2 are included insofar as they act as consumers when taking out a loan.
4.
Foreign currency loans are defined as loans that are at least partially receivable in other
currencies than the legal tender of the country in which the borrower is domiciled.
5.
Loans with a repayment vehicle for the purpose of accumulating capital (“loans with
repayment vehicles”) are defined as loans for which the repayment of principal in the
form of annuities or instalments is replaced by the accumulation of capital through a
repayment vehicle used to cover a part of or the entire principal amount at the end of the
loan’s maturity. During the term of the loan, the entire loan amount remains outstanding
and only current interest is paid.
1
The term “borrower” as used in these Minimum Standards refers to all those who are included in the
definition of a “non-bank” according to Article 2 no. 22 BWG. In particular, this includes consumers
within the meaning of Article 1 para. 1 no. 2 KSchG.
2
See reporting guidelines for the unconsolidated statement of assets (Part A1a) pursuant to Article 74
para. 1 BWG. Among the self-employed persons and freelancers are freelancers (e.g. physicians,
lawyers, pharmacists) and other self-employed persons such as sole proprietors (registered and not
registered) and farmers. Associations of self-employed persons for the operation of a working group in
the form of a civil-law association (GesBR) or a general partnership (OG) also belong to this category
(e.g. group practice of physicians, joint office of lawyers).
Page 4
6.
Capital accumulating repayment vehicles are defined as an individual or a set of
financial or insurance products that serve the borrower to accumulate capital which is
later used to at least partially repay a loan.
7.
A loan does not qualify as a loan with a repayment vehicle according to these Minimum
Standards if the principal of a bullet loan is repaid using assets which already exist and
are not accumulated during the term. In this context, the following examples shall serve
as references:
 The borrower makes a one-time self-financed placement with an insurance product
which matures at the latest when the loan falls due and which ensures coverage of
the loan.
 The borrower owns real estate assets which s/he intends to sell and which will ensure
coverage of the loan.
 The borrower has a future claim to assets which ensures coverage of the loan.
8.
MN 13 second and third sentence, MN 14 third sentence, MN 24 to 27, MN 28 to 30
except with reference to loans to consumers in Austria and MN 42 of these Minimum
Standards are applicable as of 1 July 2013. All other provisions (including MN 28 to 30
with reference to loans to consumers in Austria) shall enter into force with the publication
of these Minimum Standards.
II. Risk management
Chapter 1: Foreign currency loans
9.
The credit institution shall prepare written guidelines on the granting and managing of
foreign currency loans. Taking into consideration the risk-bearing capacity of the
respective credit institution, such guidelines shall in particular provide for adequate
requirements with regard to the granting of foreign currency loans, the limitation of the
related risk, adequate administration, calculation and control mechanisms as well as risk
management. They shall also include provisions for suitable risk pricing and internal
capital allocation. The credit institution shall ensure that adherence to the guidelines is
reviewed by its internal auditing unit at least once a year. Any observations related to
risks shall be regularly reported to the management. The management shall report the
risk situation derived from the foreign currency loan portfolio to the supervisory body
under company law at least once a year.
Page 5
10. Taking into consideration its risk-bearing capacity, the credit institution shall determine
quantitative (relative and, where appropriate, also absolute) limits on the volumes of
individual foreign currency loans as well as of the entire foreign currency loan portfolio.
11. Within the scope of credit assessments for lending purposes, it shall be ascertained
whether the borrower has sufficient income and/or assets in order to be able to service
and repay an increased loan repayment amount in local currency following changes in
the exchange rates. The requirements for collateral shall be adapted on the basis of this
increased amount.
a. Already when granting foreign currency loans, the credit institution makes sure
that the customer’s credit rating is sufficient for the borrower - taking into
account the loan’s repayment structure – to be able to service and repay an
increased loan repayment amount and/or instalments as a consequence of
exchange and interest rate changes.
b. An appropriate and practicable procedure shall be employed to calculate the
above-mentioned higher repayment amount. Methods and assumptions used for
the calculation shall be applied uniformly and continuously.
12. Depending on the borrower’s credit rating, the credit institution shall determine
appropriate threshold values for ongoing credit surveillance with regard to exchange rate
risk. It shall have a procedure in place which indicates as early as possible that threshold
values have been exceeded. The credit institution shall stipulate expedient measures in
the event that the threshold values are exceeded.
a. The threshold value shall be defined as that precise value of the outstanding
liability on a local currency basis, which, if exceeded, requires the credit
institution to take expedient measures.
b. Acting as an early warning indicator, the threshold value shall be below that
maximum outstanding liability whose servicing is just covered by the borrower's
credit rating on the respective local currency basis.
c. In contrast to the limit mentioned in MN 11, which solely refers to the moment in
time when the loan is granted and constitutes an initial value in the respective
foreign currency, the threshold value represents an individual limit depending on
the borrower’s credit rating.
Page 6
d. The identification of any individual exceeding of the above-mentioned limits
requires internal procedures, which shall be set up by the credit institution.
e. The loan observations with regard to the threshold value shall by no means
replace ongoing credit surveillance with regard to other factors. Other
procedures or systems, in particular those used for a continuous check of the
borrower’s credit rating and the value of collateral, shall not be affected by this
procedure.
f.
If a threshold value is exceeded, the credit institution shall take expedient
measures. Drawing on the provisions for consumers contained in the MN 37 to
39 for guidance, these measures shall be unambiguously formulated and should
serve to limit the customer’s exchange rate risk. Care shall be taken that
“expedient measures” correspond to the loan agreements, in accordance with
the legislative framework and current court-decisions. The credit institution shall
contact the borrower if the threshold value is exceeded.
13. The credit institution shall have a procedure in place which enables it to continually
record all market developments, in particular with regard to exchange rates, interest
rates and collateral, and to identify their effects on individual foreign currency loans as
well as the total foreign currency loan portfolio as early as possible. In doing so, the
credit institution shall examine the current rating of a foreign currency borrower for both
loans in the portfolio and new business customers at least once a year and shall take
into consideration any alterations in the credit conditions due to the above-mentioned
market developments. Special attention shall also be paid to the compilation of
aggregate exchange losses suffered by customers in default and immediate pre-default
categories.
14. It shall be noted that “procedure” (MN12 point d and 13) usually means an IT system.
Wherever this seems impracticable, a sufficiently standardised procedure fulfilling the
objectives stipulated can be determined instead. In any case, it must be ensured that
borrowers with a currency-congruent income and/or other expected earnings in the
according foreign currency (customers with a “natural hedge”) and borrowers, whose
currency risks are secured by financial instruments, are systematically recorded.
15. The credit institution shall compute the effects of exchange rate fluctuations on the
foreign currency loan portfolio employing a meaningful stress test at least once a year.
Page 7
a. Specifically, computations shall be carried out to quantify the effects on the
borrower’s solvency and, subsequently, on the credit institution’s risk-bearing
capacity.
b. If a comprehensive stress test seems impracticable, the credit institution shall
estimate the quantitative effects of exchange rate fluctuations with sufficient
accuracy once a year (e.g. by scenario analyses).
c. The outcomes of stress testing shall be adequately reflected in the business
policy in particular.
16. The credit institution shall compute the contribution of the foreign currency loan portfolio
to the credit institution’s total revenue at least once a year; the contribution must be
estimated with sufficient accuracy. Income from the mediation of repayment vehicles
shall not be considered.
17. The credit institution shall at all times observe the provisions of the FMA regulation on
liquidity risk management (LRMV) with respect to foreign currency loans. In particular,
before granting foreign currency loans, the credit institution shall have prepared
guidelines on the limitation of the refinancing risk. The credit institution shall ensure the
refinancing of foreign currency loans even in the case of adverse market conditions (e.g.
by ensuring the access - directly or via a central or parent institution - to open-market
transactions of the central bank in charge of the respective foreign currency). The credit
institutions shall provide for a sufficient diversification of its refinancing structure.
18. Loans, for which exchange rate risks are completely eliminated for the entire maturity
period by means of hedging instruments or for which the credit rating of the borrower is
to a significant extent supported by income and/or assets in the loan currency, shall be
excluded from the applicability of Section I, MN 9 to 12 if evidence for a systematic
recording procedure pursuant to MN 14 can be provided.
Chapter 2: Loans with repayment vehicles
19. The credit institution shall prepare written guidelines on the granting and management of
loans with repayment vehicles.
a. Given the specific risk factors connected to repayment vehicles (e.g. risk of
change in value, insufficient servicing of the repayment vehicle), these
guidelines shall in particular provide for adequate requirements for repayment
Page 8
vehicles, for a prudent yield forecast, for a continuous flow of information
concerning the value and proper servicing of the repayment vehicle, for
adequate administration, calculation and control mechanisms as well as for risk
management. They shall also include provisions for suitable risk pricing and
internal capital allocation.
b. The credit institution shall ensure that adherence to the guidelines is reviewed
by its internal auditing unit at least once a year.
c. Any observations related to risks shall be regularly reported to the managers.
The managers shall report the risk situation concerning loans with repayment
vehicles to the supervisory body under company law at least once a year.
d. Taking into consideration its risk-bearing capacity, the credit institution shall
determine quantitative (relative and, where appropriate, also absolute) limits on
the volumes of individual loans with repayment vehicles as well as the entire
portfolio of loans with repayment vehicles.
20. The credit institution shall stipulate more detailed requirements for the parameters of
repayment vehicles (risk and profitability parameters). With respect to their commercial
usability for the credit institution, repayment vehicles shall meet the customary criteria
concerning banking collateral. The expected profitability of repayment vehicles shall be
estimated on a sufficiently prudent and realistic basis.
21. It must be possible for the credit institution to verify the value and proper servicing of the
repayment vehicles. The credit institution shall gather sufficient information on the value
and proper servicing of the repayment vehicle on a continuous basis. The granting of
loans with repayment vehicles, for which such a continuous flow of information is not
guaranteed, shall be inadmissible.
a. The collection of “information on a continuous basis” is defined as the
demonstrable effort on behalf of the credit institution to obtain such information
at least once a year. However, in order to verify the proper servicing of
repayment vehicles, the frequency of the inspections will normally have to be
higher.
b. In the case of repayment vehicles which are connected to loans already
contained in the credit institution’s portfolio, the credit institution concerned shall
be requested to ensure by way of agreements that information is periodically
submitted by the companies that manage the repayment vehicles.
Page 9
c. If the credit institution cannot maintain the necessary flow of information for
existing repayment vehicles through no fault of its own, published statements of
the companies regarding the development of the value of their products or other
sources of information customary in banking shall be used to the extent they
exist.
d. Financial products issued by companies that do not ensure the necessary flow
of information shall, however, not be used as repayment vehicles when new
loans are granted.
22. The credit institution shall have a procedure in place which enables it to continually
record all market developments relevant to the value of the repayment vehicles and to
identify the effects of these developments on individual loans as well as on the total loan
portfolio as early as possible. It shall be noted that “procedure” usually means an IT
system. Wherever this seems impracticable, a sufficiently standardised procedure can
be determined instead.
23. The credit institution shall determine expedient measures in the event that, under
realistic assumptions concerning the future profitability of the repayment vehicle, the
amount to be repaid will not be matched by the value of the repayment vehicle when the
loan reaches maturity.
a. Drawing on the provisions contained in MN 37 to 39 for guidance, these
“expedient measures” shall be unambiguously formulated in the guidelines.
Care shall be taken that “expedient measures” correspond to the loan
agreements taking into account the legislative framework and current courtdecisions.
b. Should the development of the repayment vehicles indicate that the amount to
be repaid will presumably not be reached when the respective loan reaches
maturity, the credit institution shall contact the borrower.
Chapter 3: Pricing of risk premiums and internal capital allocation
24. When determining the risk of foreign currency and repayment vehicle loans, the credit
institution shall adequately take into consideration in the internal risk management
system the additional risks that result in comparison with loans granted without a foreign
currency and/or repayment vehicle component. Unless these risks are explicitly fully
covered, the credit institution shall take them into suitable consideration when
Page 10
determining its internal capital allocation within the framework of the ICAAP (Article 39a
BWG) and when undertaking price calculations.
25. The credit institution must cover the expected loss from foreign currency loans and loans
with repayment vehicles via its standard risk costs. In doing so, it shall implement
procedures for the assessment of the credit rating of the borrower which factor in the
potentially negative effect of future fluctuations in exchange rates and/or asset prices on
the probability of default already at the time of the granting of foreign currency loans and
loans with repayment vehicle. It must also be noted that, owing to changes in the
exchange rate and unfavourable capital market and yield developments, the expected
liability in the home currency at the time of a default can be higher than at the time of the
granting of the respective loan and/or that the amount accumulated by the repayment
vehicle may be lower than forecasted at the time of the granting of the respective loan.
26. The credit institution must have suitable methods for determining the amount of the
unexpected loss from foreign currency loans and loans with repayment vehicles. The
unexpected loss shall be taken into adequate consideration for the capital allocation
within the framework of the ICAAP. In doing so, just as regarding the ascertainment of
the standard risk costs, negative impacts of future exchange rate fluctuations and/or
asset price developments of the repayment vehicle on the default probability, and the
potential increases in the liability owing to unexpected exchange rate fluctuations and/or
funding gaps due to unexpected asset price developments must be accounted for in due
manner.
27. The credit institution must provide for suitable procedures in order to validate the abovementioned methods.
III. Relationship between bank and borrower
Chapter 4: Information for borrowers
28. The credit institution shall verifiably provide the potential borrower with adequate written
explanations concerning the main characteristics of the foreign currency loans and loans
with repayment vehicles, including the specific effects of these products on the situation
of the customer in case of payment delays and the occurrence of the events described
under MN 12 and 23. The information provided to the potential borrower shall be
presented transparently, intelligibly and comprehensibly and be characterized by high
Page 11
quality standards. This should enable the borrower to assess whether the loan contract
meets his requirements and his financial situation. In particular, the consequences of a
sustained appreciation of the foreign currency and an increase in the interest rate of the
respective foreign currency must be taken into account.
29. The credit institution explicitly informs the borrower before the conclusion of the loan
contract with a repayment vehicle component that the payments due under the loan
agreement will have to be made even if the repayment vehicle does not cover the
outstanding amount as originally expected.
30. Before granting a foreign currency loan, the credit institution shall also always offer a
loan in the domestic currency for the same purpose or adequate financial instruments
designed to cover the exchange rate risks.
Chapter 5: Special provisions for consumers
Granting of new foreign currency loans
31. In general, credit institutions may not grant any foreign currency loans to consumers.
New foreign currency loans shall only be granted to the following group of persons:
a. Persons with sufficient income in the same currency. The currency in which principal
and interest are paid should be the same as the currency of the income from which
the loan is being serviced.
b. Consumers who expect other revenues in the currency in which the loan is being
serviced and intend to repay the loan using those revenues; for example by using
foreign currency bonds with a known time of redemption (where the bond must be
already subscribed with an amount at least equal to the nominal amount of the loan at
the time when it is taken out), by selling real estate in the foreign currency (where the
actual intention to sell the real estate is present at the time when the loan is taken out
and the proceeds from the sale, based on a realistic estimate of market value or a
contractually agreed sale price, are at least equal to the nominal amount of the loan),
or by selling company shares that are financed in advance in the same currency.
Page 12
c. High net worth individuals with the best possible credit rating: The consumer belongs
to the group of those customers of the credit institution whom the internal rating
system of the credit institution accords the highest rating that can be attained by
customers on the internal rating scale of the credit institution.
32. Foreign currency loans given out to the groups of persons named under MN 31 points a,
b and c shall, however, not be combined with a capital-accumulating repayment vehicle.
33. The granting of a new foreign currency loan under the conditions set forth in MN 31 is
defined as the conclusion of a loan agreement with a consumer, where the loan is
granted partly or entirely in a different currency than the legal tender of the country in
which the borrower is domiciled.
34. Changes in existing loan agreements, which retroactively give the consumer the right to
switch from a denomination in Euro to a foreign currency and/or expand his rights
regarding a change in currency, shall be considered as the granting of a new foreign
currency loan pursuant to MN 31. If, however, a foreign currency loan contract contains
a multi-currency clause (i.e. a conversion possibility, which allows the consumer to claim
the loan proceeds in two or more currencies, was provided for the consumer already
when the loan was taken out), a change between the currencies specified in the
agreement will not be considered as the granting of a new loan. The Euro can also be
one of the currencies stipulated in the agreement. If, however, a switch between
currencies requires the consent of the credit institution, any such switch constitutes a
new granting within the meaning of MN 31.
35. The credit institution shall exercise particular care when proceeding to the prolongation
of existing foreign currency bullet loans. Prolongations shall not be deemed a new
granting within the meaning of MN 31 under the following conditions:
a. The credit institution decides on every concrete prolongation within the framework of
its general due diligence obligations,
b. the prolongation represents an adequate means to reduce the banking risks within
the meaning of Article 39 BWG,
c. the prolongation practice of the credit institution is not a systematic strategy to avoid
losses and/or to refrain from forming provisions for risks and credit write-downs in an
adequate manner,
Page 13
d. the prolongation practice of the credit institution has no significantly negative effects
on the quality of the credit portfolio, and
e. the prolongation practice in general does not lead to an inappropriate influence on the
results of internal risk measurement procedures.
MN 35 point c may also be fulfilled in the case of a larger number of positive responses
to prolongation applications by a credit institution, if the credit institution demonstrably
takes its decision to prolong a loan on the basis of an individual credit check - observing
the legislative framework and current court-decisions - and takes the measures pursuant
to MN 37 to 39.
Strategies for the sustained reduction of the overall volume of foreign currency
loans and loans with repayment vehicles
36. The credit institution must have a written and documented strategy for the sustained
reduction of the overall outstanding volume of foreign currency loans and loans with
repayment vehicles given out to consumers.
37. Depending on the concrete risk situation that is different for every consumer and, if
applicable, the preferences stated and the information given by the consumer, the credit
institution shall inform the consumer comprehensively and objectively about the
possibilities of altering the loan agreement as well as about the opportunities and risks
this entails. The goal is to enable consumers to appropriately decide on possible
changes by themselves. The information provided to the consumer shall be presented
transparently, intelligibly and comprehensibly and be characterized by high quality
standards.
38. Consumers, who seek changes in their loan agreement on their own initiative in order to
reduce their risk arising from foreign currency or repayment vehicle loans, shall be
actively assisted by the credit institution as far as this is possible under the given legal
and economic conditions.
39. To facilitate decision-making, the credit institution offers consumers alternative products,
in particular also denominated in Euro if these are expedient and suitable to reduce the
risk (e.g.: partial bullet loans in order to forgo the need to make use of the repayment
vehicle already accrued; or conversion of the bullet loan into an amortizing loan). In
particular, the alternative products also include instruments for covering the exchange
Page 14
rate risk. When offering alternative products, special attention shall be given to additional
costs that may potentially have to be borne by the customer, to the specifics of existing
products (e.g. redemption costs) and to the current situation of the capital market.
Euro loans with capital-accumulating repayment vehicles
40. When granting new Euro denominated loans with capital-accumulating repayment
vehicles, the credit institution exercises particular care and maintains a list of the
products accepted as repayment vehicles. The underlying purpose of a repayment
vehicle (coverage of the outstanding loan amount when the loan reaches maturity) shall
be given special attention.
Bullet loans
41. Bullet loans, i.e. non-revolving loans (with the exception of foreign currency loans with
repayment vehicle components - see MN 31 to 32) should only be granted in justified
cases which reflect common European banking practice and under the condition that the
repayment of the loan can be ensured by predefined and secured funds.
The following cases can be named as examples:
 Funds obtained from investments in real estate property
 Lifetime loans / generation credits that are secured by real property and are
deliberately not redeemed
 Life value loans: “reverse mortgage” products with a real estate property as collateral,
for which redemption is not required during the consumer’s life time
 Lombard loans
 Pre-financing of insurance payouts (single payments)
 Loans against the pledging of other assets such as gold, jewellery, pieces of art
 Financing for equity participation models
 Advance financing for an inheritance
 Other loans to high net worth individuals (e.g. sale of high-priced real estate which
can only be realised over an extended period of time).
42. For bullet loans with a time to maturity of more than five years (with the particular
exception of usual current account advances), a written concept for the repayment of the
loan at the end of the maturity period must be composed at the time of the granting of
Page 15
the loan and shall be available to the consumer. Once the loan has been granted, the
respective concept must be periodically reviewed by the back office at least once a year.
The review must include an examination and a written transcription documenting
whether compliance with the concept for the repayment of the loan is still plausible.
IV. Review by internal auditing
43. The credit institution shall ensure that compliance with the guidelines and strategies as
required by these Minimum Standards will be reviewed during general internal auditing
assessments, and that a diligent verification of these specific requirements is undertaken
by internal auditing at least once per calendar year.
Austrian Financial Market Authority
On behalf of the Management Board:
Michael Hysek
Doris Radl
Head of Division
Head of Department
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