On November 16, 2021, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) released a Consultative Document (Consultation) on proposed principles (Principles) for the effective management and supervision of climate-related financial risks.

In the Consultation, the BIS states that “a review of the existing Basel Framework concluded that while the Core principles for effective banking supervision (BCPs) and the supervisory review process (SRP) are sufficiently broad and flexible to accommodate additional supervisory responses to climate-related financial risks, supervisors and banks could benefit from the [Basel] Committee’s guidance to foster alignment in terms of supervisory expectations for addressing these risks.”

Proposed are 18 high-level Principles (which are listed below): 1 through 12 provide banks with guidance on effective management of climate-related financial risks, while 13 through 18 provide guidance for prudential supervisors.

The BIS states that the Principles seek to achieve a balance: “improving practices related to the management of climate-related financial risks and providing a common baseline for internationally active banks and supervisors, while maintaining sufficient flexibility given the degree of heterogeneity and evolving practices in this area.”

Comments on the Principles are due by February 16, 2022.

The Principles

Principle 1: Banks should develop and implement a sound process for understanding and assessing the potential impact of climate-related risk drivers on their businesses and on the environments in which they operate. Banks should consider material climate-related financial risks that could manifest over various time horizons and incorporate these risks into their overall business strategies and risk management frameworks. [Reference principles: BCP 14, SRP 30, Corporate governance principles for banks]

Principle 2: The board and senior management should clearly assign climate-related responsibilities to members and committees and exercise effective oversight of climate-related financial risks. The board and senior management should identify responsibilities for climate-related risk management throughout the organisational structure. [Reference principles: BCP 14, SRP 30, Corporate governance principles for banks]

Principle 3: Banks should adopt appropriate policies, procedures and controls to be implemented across the entire organisation to ensure effective management of climate-related financial risks. [Reference principles: BCP 14, SRP 30, Corporate governance principles for banks]

Principle 4: Banks should incorporate climate-related financial risks into their internal control frameworks across the three lines of defence to ensure sound, comprehensive and effective identification, measurement and mitigation of material climate-related financial risks. [Reference principles: BCP 26, SRP 20, SRP 30]

Principle 5: Banks should identify and quantify climate-related financial risks and incorporate those assessed as material over relevant time horizons into their internal capital and liquidity adequacy assessment processes. [Reference principles: BCP 15, BCP 24, SRP 20, SRP 30]

Principle 6: Banks should identify, monitor and manage all climate-related financial risks that could materially impair their financial condition, including their capital resources and liquidity positions. Banks should ensure that their risk appetite and risk management frameworks consider all material climate-related financial risks to which they are exposed and establish a reliable approach to identifying, measuring, monitoring and managing those risks. [Reference principles: BCP 15, SRP 30]

Principle 7: Risk data aggregation capabilities and internal risk reporting practices should account for climate-related financial risks. Banks should seek to ensure that their internal reporting systems are capable of monitoring material climate-related financial risks and producing timely information to ensure effective board and senior management decision-making. [Reference principles: BCP 15, SRP 30, Principles for effective risk data aggregation and risk reporting]

Principle 8: Banks should understand the impact of climate-related risk drivers on their credit risk profiles and ensure credit risk management systems and processes consider material climate-related financial risks. [Reference principles: BCP 17, BCP 19, SRP 20, Principles for the management of credit risk]

Principle 9: Banks should understand the impact of climate-related risk drivers on their market risk positions and ensure that market risk management systems and processes consider material climate-related financial risks. [Reference principles: BCP 22]

Principle 10: Banks should understand the impact of climate-related risk drivers on their liquidity risk profiles and ensure that liquidity risk management systems and processes consider material climate-related financial risks. [Reference principles: BCP 24, Principles for sound liquidity risk management and supervision]

Principle 11: Banks should understand the impact of climate-related risk drivers on their operational risk and ensure that risk management systems and processes consider material climate-related risks. Banks should also understand the impact of climate-related risk drivers on other risks and put in place adequate measures to account for these risks where material. This includes climate-related risk drivers that might lead to increasing strategic, reputational, and regulatory compliance risk, as well as liability costs associated with climate-sensitive investments and businesses. [Reference principles: BCP 25, Principles for the sound management of operational risk, Principles for operational resilience, SRP 20, SRP 30]

Principle 12: Where appropriate, banks should make use of scenario analysis, including stress testing, to assess the resilience of their business models and strategies to a range of plausible climate-related pathways and determine the impact of climate-related risk drivers on their overall risk profile. These analyses should consider physical and transition risks as drivers of credit, market, operational and liquidity risks over a range of relevant time horizons. [Reference principles: BCP 15, Stress testing principles]

Principle 13: Supervisors should determine that banks’ incorporation of material climate-related financial risks into their business strategies, corporate governance and internal control frameworks is sound and comprehensive. [Reference principles: BCP 9, BCP 14, BCP 26, SRP 20]

Principle 14: Supervisors should determine that banks can adequately identify, monitor and manage all material climate-related financial risks as part of their assessments of banks’ risk appetite and risk management frameworks. [Reference principles: BCP 15, SRP 20, SRP 30]

Principle 15: Supervisors should determine that banks comprehensively identify and assess the impact of climate-related risk drivers on their risk profile and ensure that material climate-related financial risks are adequately considered in their management of credit, market, liquidity, operational, and other types of risk. Supervisors should determine that, where appropriate, banks apply climate scenario analysis. [Reference principles: BCP 17–25, Principles for sound liquidity risk management and supervision, Principles for the sound management of operational risk, Principles for operational resilience]

Principle 16: In conducting supervisory assessments of supervised banks’ management of climate-related financial risks, supervisors should utilise an appropriate range of techniques and tools and adopt adequate follow-up measures in case of material misalignment with supervisory expectations. [Reference principles: BCP 8, BCP 9, SRP 10, SRP 20]

Principle 17: Supervisors should ensure that they have adequate resources and capacity to effectively assess supervised banks’ management of climate-related financial risks. [Reference principles: BCP 9]

Principle 18: Supervisors should consider using climate-related risk scenario analysis, including stress testing, to identify relevant risk factors, size portfolio exposures, identify data gaps and inform the adequacy of risk management approaches. Where appropriate, supervisors should consider disclosing the findings of these exercises. [Reference principles: Stress testing principles]