New capital adequacy requirements for stockbrokers: CSE

Feb 16, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is in the process of implementing a Risk-based Capital Adequacy Requirement (CAR) for stockbroker firms replacing the minimum net capital requirement of 35 million rupees, pending approval of the SEC, a statement said.

“The Risk-based Capital Adequacy Requirement would replace the minimum Net Capital requirement of 35 million rupees,” the CSE statement said. It will be applicable for all Members/Trading Members of the CSE and licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC).

The Net Capital is derived by deducting items which are not immediately realizable from shareholder funds of the Stockbroker Firm, as set out in the CSE Stockbroker Rules.

At present, the minimum Net Capital requirement is fixed for all Stockbroker Firms regardless of the risk undertaken by each firm and does not provide sufficient weightage to different types of risks that a Stockbroker Firm would be exposed to, such as the risk exposure arising from trading activities and the operations of the Stockbroker Firm.

The Net Capital positions are presently reported by the Stockbrokers to CSE and SEC only on a monthly basis, it said.

The Principle 30 of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) “Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulations” (issued in June 2010), which is considered as the benchmark for securities regulation, states that “There should be an initial and ongoing capital and other prudential requirements for market intermediaries that reflect the risks that the intermediaries undertake.”

Taking into consideration the aforesaid IOSCO principle and the limitations associated with the current minimum Net Capital requirement, the CSE has in concurrence with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and the Stock Brokering industry developed a methodology of “Risk based Capital Adequacy Requirement.”

The Risk based Capital Adequacy Requirement compares the risks of Stockbroker Firms, arising from the transactions and operations carried out, with the amount of Liquid Capital that the Stockbroker Firm must maintain on an on-going basis. The methodology would identify the amount of Liquid Capital that a Stockbroker Firm should maintain as opposed to various types of risks the Stockbroker Firm is exposed to.

There are four types of such risk factors that have been identified by the CSE when developing the Risk based Capital Adequacy Requirement; namely, Operational Risk, Counterparty Risk, Large Exposure Risk and the Position Risk, the CSE said.

The Risk based Capital Adequacy requirement is measured in the form of a ratio which would be called the “Capital Adequacy Ratio” or “CAR”.

The minimum CAR ratio that has been recommended by IOSCO and practiced by most of the developed Stock Exchanges in the region is 1:2. The CSE, taking into consideration the best practices adopted by these markets and upon an analysis of the trading patterns and the operational capabilities of the Stockbroker Firms operating in the Sri Lankan market, has also recommended a minimum CAR ratio of 1:2 to be applicable to Stockbroker Firms.

Taking in to consideration the limitations of the reporting requirements of the present Net Capital requirement, all Stockbroker Firms will be required to compute and report their respective CAR Ratios to CSE and SEC on a daily basis.

CSE has obtained the feedback of the SEC and the Stockbroker Firms when developing the CAR methodology. The Board of Directors of the CSE has approved the CAR methodology and the Rules on 8th February 2016 and the said CAR methodology and the proposed Rules are pending approval by the SEC.

The implementation of CAR would be a significant landmark in the regulation of securities in Sri Lanka, which would enhance the financial and operational capabilities of the Stockbroker Firms, the CSE said.