Model risk management – Special report 2019

A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of model risk. Launched in 2016, the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) Targeted Review of Internal Models (Trim) has forced a step-change in attitudes among European lenders towards ensuring their capital models are fit for purpose. In keeping with other regulators worldwide, the watchdog’s team of inspectors is visiting banks to check everything from internal governance processes to the data inputs that underpin modelling assumptions.

If the early evidence from the review is anything to go by, banks still have significant work to do to get their houses in order. The latest set of findings, on the safety and soundness of banks’ market risk models, landed in April – and made for grim reading. Of 30 banks that had been subjected to supervisory visits, the ECB found, on average, 32 issues with modelling practices – with, on average, nine issues deemed severe. 

The review is already proving costly to lenders – and not just from a compliance point of view: ABN Amro cited changes made to its modelling practices as driving a €1.3 billion jump in credit risk-weighted assets during the first quarter of this year – implying the regulator thought its models were not adequately gauging the credit risk in its loan portfolios previously, necessitating a top-up. 


Download the full 2019 Model risk management special report in PDF format

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