Recommendation for the activation of the countercyclical capital buffer (FMSG/5/2015)

Fifth meeting, September 7, 2015

Based on the currently available data, the FMSB again recommends that the FMA set the countercyclical capital buffer at 0% of risk-weighted assets with effect from January 1, 2016. The countercyclical capital buffer is supposed to shield the banking system from the effects of cyclical systemic risks, which may in particular arise from unsustainable lending on an aggregated level. The growth of outstanding credit volume as compared to GDP growth currently does not indicate the need to recommend such a buffer. Further indicators support this assessment: Austrian banks continue to record sound balance sheets in terms of their unconsolidated aggregated debt ratios (tier 1 capital relative to total assets). Furthermore, the current account does not point to any major macroeconomic imbalances in terms of economic growth.