Publication: Loan Classification and Provisioning : Current Practices in 26 ECA Countries

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Hulster, Katia
Salomao-Garcia, Valeria
Letelier, Raquel
This report concerns the Financial Sector Advisory Centreapos;s (FinSAC) attempt to shed light on the regulations and practices in the areas of identifying and provisioning for loans losses in 26 countries in the Emerging Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region. FinSAC aims to deliver policy and technical advice and analytical services to client ECA countries. This reportapos;s analysis is based on a World Bank Survey conducted from 2011 to 2012 on banking supervision. Even though it is often stated that Non Performing Loans (NPL) ratios and provisions are not easily comparable across jurisdictions, NPLs and their provisions in the European and Central Asian (ECA) region are frequently charted and analyzed across multiple jurisdictions. As a result of the lack of harmonized regulations in this area, concerns regarding the consistency of loan quality assessments are frequently raised, particularly with respect to the distinction between performing and non performing exposures, provisions for non performing exposures, as well as forbearance definitions. This overview paper has three main objectives. First, report analyzes some important considerations that make the comparison of NPL ratios and provisions across jurisdictions so challenging. Second, the report explains the interactions between provisioning frameworks based on prudential regulations and accounting standards. Third, the report concludes by sharing some good practices for NPL definitions useful for prudential supervisors who are considering aligning their prudential frameworks more closely with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The report also proposes steps for further regional work, knowledge sharing and harmonization. This will include data collection and benchmarking of internal risk estimates, sharing of reviews of the provisioning methodologies and expected loss calculations applied by the banking groups active in the region and efforts to further analyze and harmonize NPL definitions.
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Hulster, Katia; Salomao-Garcia, Valeria; Letelier, Raquel. 2014. Loan Classification and Provisioning : Current Practices in 26 ECA Countries. Financial Sector Advisory Center (FinSAC) working paper series;. © World Bank Group, Vienna. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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