BASEL III and unsecured lending in the banking industry in South Africa : a look into the risk coverage of ABIL and Capitec Bank Holdings Limited since the introduction of BASEL III

Van der Westhuizen, Michelle Daleen (2014-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: According to Vestergaard and Wade (2012:486), “No financial or bank crisis has ever occurred from something ex-ante perceived as risky”. On the contrary – according to Per Kurowski (2010 in Vestergaard & Wade 2012:486) “they have all resulted, no exceptions, from excessive lending or investment in something perceived as not risky”. BASEL III, also known as the Third BASEL Accord, was developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) as a comprehensive set of measures to strengthen regulation and risk management and, in doing so, to reform the way in which the banking sector operated in the past (International regulatory framework for banks (Basel III), 2014). According to Zerbst (2013), Basel III was introduced as a direct result of the financial crisis that hit the United States and spread throughout the world in 2008. After the financial crisis, the financial world lost confidence in banks in general. This made the regulators wary and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCSB) was formed. They were tasked to investigate how existing regulations could be revised to safeguard banks from landing in a similar situation. Currently, South African banks meet the minimum regulatory capital requirements introduced by Basel III. Capitec and African Bank Investments Limited (ABIL) are two prominent banks in the South African unsecured lending market. These two banks, although they seem alike, do not operate in the same way. They have different funding bases. Furthermore, unlike ABIL, Capitec does not have a furniture and appliance component (African Bank, 2014). This report aims to understand how Capitec and ABIL’s risk models measure up to what Basel III proposes banks use. The analysis in this research report will enable the reader to understand the capital structure of Capitec Ltd and ABIL better. This approach will allow for a better estimation of capital structure within the unsecured banking industry. This research report can further serve as an example of capital risk analysis for other bank executives in South Africa. A further benefit for this research is that it can be used as a case study for lecturers teaching corporate finance at academic institutions.

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