Asset and Liability Management (ALM)

In banking, asset and liability management (ALM) is used to manage the risks that arise due to mismatches between the assets and liabilities (debts and assets) of the bank. Banks face several risks like liquidity risk, market risk, interest rate risk, credit risk, and operational risk. Asset Liability Management (ALM) is a strategic management tool to manage interest rate risk and liquidity risk faced by banks, other financial services companies, and corporations. Banks manage the risks of Asset liability mismatch by matching the assets and liabilities according to the maturity pattern or matching the duration, by hedging and by securitization.

Asset and liability management remain high-priority areas for bank regulators, with an emphasis on the management of market risk, liquidity risk, and credit risk.… Read the rest

Ethical Issues in the Banking Industry

Over the years, banks have undergone tremendous growth in many aspects of their operations, starting with the type of customers they deal with to the manner in which information is received, recorded, transformed, and finally used. Ultimately, banks have unraveled the whole mystery of discrimination as to what customers to offer services to or not by categorizing their clients in terms of their income structure. This classifying of customers is meant to assist in the decision making process as to what customer receives what treatment, but it is also meant to assist the banks in understanding the type of customers to offer better services to.… Read the rest

Different Types of Risks Faced by Banks Today

All companies which have a profit maximizing objective hold a certain degree of risk whether through microeconomic or macroeconomic factors. Banks also face a number of risks atypical of non financial companies due to the payment and intermediary function which they perform. Recent changes in the banking environment has lead to an increased pressure to maximize shareholder value, this means that banks take on a higher risk in order to gain a higher return. It is due to this increased pressure and market volatility that banking risk needs such effective management to ensure the banks continued solvency. Risk can be defined as an “exposure to uncertainty of outcome” measured by the volatility (standard deviation) of net cash flow within the firm.… Read the rest

Impact of Banking Regulations on Financial Intermediation

Banks have all along played the role of financial intermediaries by channelizing funds primarily from the household sector to producing sector and the efficiency and smoothness with which such intermediation is done by banks are one of the prime parameters that determine the economic efficiency and consequent industrial and material progress of a society. Financial intermediation has a cost and that cost is reflected in bank rates and overhead expenditures incurred by banks. Bank rates, however, are not determined in isolation or only from the perspective of profit maximization by the banking sector. These rates are impacted by many other economic and statutory issues pertaining to a particular economy and such issues may vary widely from economy to economy depending upon the administrative attitude towards matters of equanimity in various sectors of the economy, especially the banking sector itself.… Read the rest

Bank Risk Exposure Types – On-balance Sheet and Off-Balance Sheet Exposures

Generally, credit risk is related to the traditional bank lending activities, while it also comes from holding bonds and other securities. Basel (1999) reports that for most banks, loans are the largest and most obvious source of credit risk; however, throughout the activities of a bank, which include in the banking book as well as in the trading book, and both on and off the balance sheet, there are also other sources of credit risk. Various financial instruments including acceptances, inter-bank transactions, financial futures, guarantees, etc increase banks’ credit risk. Therefore, it is indispensable to identify all the credit exposures— the possible sources of credit risk for most banks, which can also serve as a starting point for the following parts of this work.… Read the rest

Reasons for Liquidity Fluctuations in Indian Banking System

Liquidity risk is inherent in bank’s core business because banking organizations employ a significant amount of leverage in their business activities and need to meet contractual obligations in order to maintain the confidence of customers and fund providers. The first step in measuring and managing liquidity risk is the identification of the most important sources of risk.

In the Indian context of banking, unexpected liquidity fluctuations are driven mainly by the following items:

  • Behavior of non-maturity deposits: A large fraction of deposits, in an Indian bank, consists of low-cost current and savings deposits which do not have any contractual maturity. Moreover, the depositor has the option to introduce or withdraw funds at any point of time.
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