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In­tro­duc­tion of the coun­ter­cycli­cal cap­i­tal buffer (CCyB)

Next to assessing the current risk situation in the German financial system, the Financial Stability Committee also discussed the introduction of the countercyclical capital buffer as a new macroprudential instrument. It noted that the sustained low interest rates in particular could remain the starting point for a variety of potential negative developments. This continues to require careful monitoring and close supervision of the relevant financial market players.

The countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) is a new macroprudential supervision tool that was introduced effective 1 January 2016. It is enshrined in the Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz) and the Solvency Regulation (Solvabilitätsverordnung), transposing the European Capital Requirements Directive (CRD).

In Germany, the buffer rate will be set quarterly by BaFin. The ECB will be involved via the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) as part of this process. The Financial Stability Committee will also focus its attention on this instrument on a regular basis. BaFin will publish a buffer rate for the first time in December. Some European countries have already introduced the countercyclical capital buffer. The countercyclical capital buffer was set at 0% in the majority of cases, in light of relatively weak credit trends. At present, there is also no reason for Germany to have a buffer rate of more than 0% when the rate is set for the first time for the period starting on 1 January 2016.

The buffer is determined based on an analysis of numerous economic indicators. Deviations in the credit situation from long-term trends in relation to GDP (credit-GDP gap) play a central role here. A detailed presentation of the analytical framework is currently being prepared by the Bundesbank and is expected to be published in late autumn 2015. The buffer can range from 0% to 2.5%, and can be set higher if necessary.