The Financial Stability Committee can issue warnings and recommendations to counter systemic risks and strengthen the resilience of the financial system. The warnings and recommendations can be addressed to the German government, BaFin or other public bodies in Germany. The Financial Stability Committee uses these tools to shape macroprudential policy in a forward-looking, preventive manner and to maintain financial stability. Warnings and recommendations are generally published. However, the Financial Stability Committee takes into account the signals it sends to the public and the markets, and considers whether the publication itself may pose a threat to financial stability. In such cases, warnings and recommendations are not published.
The Financial Stability Committee uses warnings about identified risks in its risk communications. It issues warnings when it wishes to alert the relevant parties to an imminent threat to financial stability and when the contents of the warning can help to preserve financial stability. Warnings fulfil a coordination function and are intended to encourage the relevant parties to take the identified risks or threats into account in their decision-making processes.
In its recommendations, the Financial Stability Committee identifies imminent threats to financial stability and proposes specific courses of action that it considers necessary, appropriate and proportionate to respond to the threat. Recommendations can include macroprudential measures that other German public authorities can take to help maintain financial stability.
Recipients of a recommendation must inform the Financial Stability Committee how they will implement the recommended measures or explain why they intend to deviate from the recommendation (“comply or explain”). Recommendations can also include proposed changes to the regulatory framework. The Federal Ministry of Finance can use German government’s right of initiative to promptly initiate legal implementation.
For example, in its 2015 Recommendation AFS/2015/1, the Financial Stability Committee recommended that the German government create new macroprudential instruments for the residential real estate market. Lawmakers provided the supervisory authority with two such instruments as part of the Act Supplementing Financial Supervision Law (Finanzaufsichtsrechtergänzungsgesetz), which became effective in 2017.
An additional example: In May 2019, in its recommendation AFS/2019/1, the Financial Stability Committee recommended an increase in the countercyclical capital buffer for banks for the first time. This was intended to proactively strengthen the resilience of the banking system. BaFin followed this recommendation and increased the countercyclical capital buffer.
The Financial Stability Committee reviews and assesses the implementation of recommendations or the reasons given for deviations from recommendations. It evaluates the effectiveness of macroprudential measures ex post and thus assesses whether any measures need to be adjusted. This is based on an assessment by the Bundesbank. Evaluations of public recommendations are generally published. Implementation by recipients is assessed in a manner analogous to the process employed by the ESRB.