On January 29, 2016, the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee published its proposed framework for the UK Systemic Risk Buffer for ring-fenced banks and large building societies (i.e. those that will be subject to the UK ring-fencing rules from 2019 with assets over £25 billion). The SRB, a discretionary buffer under the EU CRD, aims to mitigate and prevent long-term non-cyclical macro-prudential or systemic risk. The FPC is proposing that the SRB rate would be calibrated according to a firm’s total Risk-Weighted Assets so that firms with RWAs: (i) less than £175 billion will have a 0% SRB; (ii) between £175 and £320 billion will have a 1% SRB; (iii) between £320 and £465 billion will have a 1.5% SRB; (iv) between £465 and £610 billion will have a 2% SRB; (v) between £610 and £755 billion will have a 2.5% SRB; and (vi) over £755 billion will have a 3% SRB.

Firms subject to the SRB will also be subject to a 3% minimum leverage ratio requirement as well as an additional leverage ratio buffer of 35% of the applicable SRB rate. The Prudential Regulation Authority will apply the SRB to individual firms from 2019, which is when the ring-fencing rules will become applicable. Comments to the consultation are due by April 22, 2016. The FPC intends to finalize the rules by May 31, 2016.

The FPC’s consultation paper is available at: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/financialstability/Documents/fpc/srbf_cp.pdf.