The 99% 10-day VaR for a bank is $200mm. The average VaR for the past 60 days is $250mm, and the bank specific regulatory multiplier is 3. What is the bank's basic VaR based market risk capital charge?
The current Basel rules for the basic VaR based charge for market risk capital set market risk capital requirements as the maximum of the following two amounts:
1. 99%/10-day VaR,
2. Regulatory Multiplier x Average 99%/10-day VaR of the past 60 days
The 'regulatory multiplier' is a number between 3 and 4 (inclusive) calculated based on the number of 1% VaR exceedances in the previous 250 days, as determined by backtesting.
- If the number of exceedances is <= 4, then the regulatory multiplier is 3.
- If the number of exceedances is between 5 and 9, then the multiplier = 3 + 0.2*(N-4), where N is the number of exceedances.
- If the number of exceedances is >=10, then the multiplier is 4.
So you can see that in most normal situations the risk capital requirement will be dictated by the multiplier and the prior 60-day average VaR, because the product of these two will almost often be greater than the current 99% VaR.
The correct answer therefore is = max(200mm, 3*250mm) = $750mm.
Interestingly, also note that a 99% VaR should statistically be exceeded 1%*250 days = 2.5 times, which means if the bank's VaR model is performing as it should, it will still need to use a reg multiplier of 3.
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