Asset liability management strategy of SBI

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

It is not until you under take a term project like this one that you realize how massive the effort it really is, or how much you must rely upon the self less effort and good will of other . There are many who helped in this project, and I want to thanks them all .It is my pleasure to thank all those who helped me directly or indirectly in presentation of this project .The development of a project of this nature would not have possible without the help of different persons .I am intended to all of them.

I express my deep gratitude to Miss. Swati Mehta for his full cooperation and help. And for their continuing support at the every stage of the development in this project by providing sufficient time in this study.

INTRODUCTION

The bank traces its ancestry back through the Imperial Bank of India to the founding in 1806 of the Bank of Calcutta, making it the oldest commercial bank in the Indian Subcontinent. The Government of India nationalised the Imperial Bank of India in 1955, with the Reserve Bank of India taking a 60% stake, and renamed it the State Bank of India. In 2008, the Government took over the stake held by the Reserve Bank of India.

SBI provides a range of banking products through its vast network in India and overseas, including products aimed at NRIs. The State Bank Group, with over 16000 branches, has the largest branch network in India. With an asset base of $250 billion and $195 billion in deposits, it is a regional banking behemoth. It has a market share among Indian commercial banks of about 20% in deposits and advances, and SBI accounts for almost one-fifth of the nation's loans.

SBI has tried to reduce its over-staffing through computerizing operations and Golden handshake schemes that led to a flight of its best and brightest managers. These managers took the retirement allowances and then went on the become senior managers at new private sector banks.

The State bank of India is 29th most reputable company in the world according to Forbes

State Bank of India is one of the Big Four Banks of India with ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank

International presence

Regional office of the State Bank of India (SBI), India's largest bank, in Mumbai. The government of India is the largest shareholder in SBI.

The bank has 92 branches, agencies or offices in 32 countries. It has branches of the parent in Colombo, Dhaka, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, London and environs, Los Angeles, Male in the Maldives, Muscat, New York, Osaka, Sydney, and Tokyo. It has offshore banking units in the Bahamas, Bahrain, and Singapore, and representative offices in Bhutan and Cape Town.

SBI operates several foreign subsidiaries or affiliates. In 1990 it established an offshore bank, State Bank of India (Mauritius). It has two subsidiaries in North America, State Bank of India (California), and State Bank of India (Canada). In 1982, the bank established its California subsidiary, named State Bank of India (California), which now has eight branches - seven branches in the state of California and one in Washington DC which was recently opened on 23rd November, 2009. The seven branches in the state of California are located in Los Angeles, Artesia, San Jose, Canoga Park, Fresno, San Diego and Bakersfield. The Canadian subsidiary too dates to 1982 and has seven branches, four in the greater Toronto area, and three in British Columbia.

In Nigeria, SBI operates as INMB Bank. This bank began in 1981 as the Indo-Nigerian Merchant Bank and received permission in 2002 to commence retail banking. It now has five branches in Nigeria.

In Nepal SBI owns 50% of Nepal SBI Bank, which has branches throughout the country. In Moscow SBI owns 60% of Commercial Bank of India, with Canara Bank owning the rest. In Indonesia it owns 76% of PT Bank Indo Monex.

State Bank of India already has a branch in Shanghai and plans to open one up in Tianjin.

History

The roots of the State Bank of India rest in the first decade of 19th century, when the Bank of Calcutta, later renamed the Bank of Bengal, was established on 2 June 1806. The Bank of Bengal and two other Presidency banks, namely, the Bank of Bombay (incorporated on 15 April 1840) and the Bank of Madras (incorporated on 1 July 1843). All three Presidency banks were incorporated as joint stock companies, and were the result of the royal charters. These three banks received the exclusive right to issue paper currency in 1861 with the Paper Currency Act, a right they retained until the formation of the Reserve Bank of India. The Presidency banks amalgamated on 27 January 1921, and the reorganized banking entity took as its name Imperial Bank of India. The Imperial Bank of India continued to remain a joint stock company.

Pursuant to the provisions of the State Bank of India Act (1955), the Reserve Bank of India, which is India's central bank, acquired a controlling interest in the Imperial Bank of India. On 30 April 1955 the Imperial Bank of India became the State Bank of India. The Govt. of India recently acquired the Reserve Bank of India's stake in SBI so as to remove any conflict of interest because the RBI is the country's banking regulatory authority.

In 1959 the Government passed the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, enabling the State Bank of India to take over eight former State-associated banks as its subsidiaries. On Sept 13, 2008, State Bank of Saurashtra, one of its Associate Banks, merged with State Bank of India.

SBI has acquired local banks in rescues. For instance, in 1985, it acquired Bank of Cochin in Kerala, which had 120 branches. SBI was the acquirer as its affiliate, State Bank of Travancore, already had an extensive network in Kerala.

Associate banks

There are six associate banks that fall under SBI, and together these six banks constitute the State Bank Group. All use the same logo of a blue keyhole and all the associates use the "State Bank of" name followed by the regional headquarters' name. Originally, the then seven banks that became the associate banks belonged to princely states until the government nationalized them between October, 1959 and May, 1960. In tune with the first Five Year Plan, emphasizing the development of rural India, the government integrated these banks into State Bank of India to expand its rural outreach. There has been a proposal to merge all the associate banks into SBI to create a "mega bank" and streamline operations. The first step along these lines occurred on 13 August 2008 when State Bank of Saurashtra merged with State Bank of India, which reduced the number of state banks from seven to six. Furthermore on 19th June 2009 the SBI board approved the merger of its subsidiary, State Bank of Indore, with itself. SBI holds 98.3% in the bank, and the balance 1.77% is owned by individuals, who held the shares prior to its takeover by the government.

The acquisition of State Bank of Indore will help SBI add 470 branches to its existing network of 11,448. Also, following the acquisition, SBI's total assets will inch very close to the Rs 10-lakh crore mark. Total assets of SBI and the State Bank of Indore stood at Rs 998,119 crore as on March 2009.

The Subsidiaries of SBI till date

Growth

State Bank of India has often acted as guarantor to the Indian Government, most notably during Chandra Shekhar's tenure as Prime Minister of India. With 11,448 branches and a further 6500+ associate bank branches, the SBI has extensive coverage. State Bank of India has electronically networked all of its branches under Core Banking System (CBS). The bank has one of the largest ATM networks in the region. More than 8500 ATMs across India. The State Bank of India has had steady growth over its history, though it was marred by the Harshad Mehta scam in 1992. In recent years, the bank has sought to expand its overseas operations by buying foreign banks. It is the only Indian bank to feature in the top 100 world banks in the Fortune Global 500 rating and various other rankings.

Asset-liability management: Issues and trends in Indian context

Asset-liability management basically refers to the process by which an institution manages its balance sheet in order to allow for alternative interest rate and liquidity scenarios. Banks and other financial institutions provide services which expose them to various kinds of risks like credit risk, interest risk, and liquidity risk. Asset liability management is an approach that provides institutions with protection that makes such risk acceptable. Asset-liability management models enable institutions to measure and monitor risk, and provide suitable strategies for their management. It is therefore appropriate for institutions (banks, finance companies, leasing com- panies, insurance companies, and others) to focus on asset-liability management when they face financial risks of different types. Asset-liability management in- cludes not only a formalization of this understanding, but also a way to quantify and manage these risks. Further, even in the absence of a formal asset-liability management program, the understanding of these concepts is of value to an institution as it provides a truer picture of the risk/reward trade-off in which the institution is engaged.

Asset-liability management is a first step in the long-term strategic planning pro- cess. Therefore, it can be considered as a planning function for an intermediate term. In a sense, the various aspects of balance sheet management deal with plan- ning as well as direction and control of the levels, changes and mixes of assets, liabilities, and capital.

Earlier phase

In the 1940s and the 1950s, there was an abundance of funds in banks in the form of demand and savings deposits. Because of the low cost of deposits, banks had to develop mechanisms by which they could make efficient use of these funds. Hence, the focus then was mainly on asset management. But as the availability of low cost funds started to decline, liability management became the focus of bank management effort Liability management essentially refers to the practice of buying money through cumulative deposits, federal funds and commercial paper in order to fund profit able loan opportunities. But with an increase in volatility in interest rates and with a severe recession damaging several economies, banks started to concentrate more on the management of both sides of the balance sheet.

Categories of risk

Risk in a way can be defined as the chance or the probability of loss or damage. In the case of banks, these include credit risk, capital risk, market risk, interest rate risk, and liquidity risk. These categories of financial risk require focus, since financial institutions like banks do have complexities and rapid changes in their operating environments.

Credit risk: The risk of counter party failure in meeting the payment obligation on the specific date is known as credit risk. Credit risk management is an important challenge for financial institutions and failure on this front may lead to failure of banks. The recent failure of many Japanese banks and failure of savings and loan associations in the 1980s in the USA are important examples, which provide les- sons for others. It may be noted that the willingness to pay, which is measured by the character of the counter party, and the ability to pay need not necessarily go together.

The other important issue is contract enforcement in countries like India. Legal reforms are very critical in order to have timely contract enforcement. Delays and loopholes in the legal system significantly affect the ability of the lender to enforce the contract. The legal system and its processes are notorious for delays showing scant regard for time and money that is the basis of sound functioning of the market system. Over two million cases are pending in 18 High Courts alone and more than 200,000 cases are pending in the Supreme Court for admission, interim relief or final hearing.

This is not the full story. Since thousands of cases are pending in the lower courts, legal experts suggest that the average time taken by Indian courts for deciding a civil I case is around 7 to 10 years (Shah, 1998), if not more. The right of the essor to repossess the leased asset, in case of default by the lessee was not very clear until the Bombay High Court ruled.

Hence the required rate of return due to feeble contract enforcement mechanisms becomes larger in countries like India. Therefore, a good portion of non-performing assets of commercial banks in India is related to deficiencies in contract enforcement mechanisms. Credit risk is also linked to market risk variables. In a highly volatile interest rate environment, loan defaults could increase thereby affecting credit quality. The expansion of banking sector was phenomenal during the 1970s and 1980s. Mobilization of deposits was one of the major objectives of commercial banks.

To that extent, performance appraisal and incentive system within the banking sector was more based on deposit mobilization and achievement of deposit targets rather than on lending practices and credit risk assessment mechanisms. Hence, it is important that the banks reorient their approach in terms of reformulating performance appraisal systems, which focus more on lending practices and credit risk assessments in the changed scenario. Credit rating to some extent facilitates the understanding of credit risk. But the quality of financial information provided by corporates leaves much to be desired. In the case of the unincorporated sector, namely a partnership and proprietorship firm, the task of credit risk assessment is more complicated because of lack of reliable and continuous financial information.

Capital risk: One of the sound aspects of the banking practice is the maintenance of adequate capital on a continuous basis. There are attempts to bring in global norms in this field in order to bring in commonality and standardization in international practices. Capital adequacy also focuses on the weighted average risk of lending and to that extent, banks are in a position to realign their portfolios between more risky and less risky assets.

Market risk: Market risk is related to the financial condition, which results from adverse movement in market prices. This will be more pronounced when financial information has to be provided on a marked-to-market basis since significant fluctuations in asset holdings could adversely affect the balance sheet of banks. In the Indian context, the problem is accentuated because many financial institutions acquire bonds and hold it till maturity. When there is a significant increase in the term structure of interest rates, or violent fluctuations in the rate structure, one finds substantial erosion of the value of the securities held.

Interest rate risk: Interest risk is the change in prices of bonds that could occur as a result of change: n interest rates. It also considers change in impact on interest income due to changes in the rate of interest. In other words, price as well as reinvestment risks require focus. In so far as the terms for which interest rates were fixed on deposits differed from those for which they fixed on assets, banks incurred interest rate risk i.e., they stood to make gains or losses with every change in the level of interest rates.

As long as changes in rates were predictable both in magnitude and in timing over the business cycle, interest rate risk was not seen as too serious, but as rates of interest became more volatile, there was felt need for explicit means of monitoring and controlling interest gaps. In most OECD countries (Harrington, 1987), the situation was no different from that which prevailed in domestic banking. The term to maturity of a bond provides clues to the fluctuations in the price of the bond since it is fairly well-known that longer maturity bonds have greater fluctuations for a given change in the interest rates compared to shorter maturity bonds. In other words commercial banks, which are holding large proportions of longer maturity bonds, will face more price reduction when the interest rates go up. 1970s and the early part of 1990s, there has been a substantial change in the maturity structure of bonds held by commercial banks. During 1961, 34% of the central government securities had a maturity of less than 5 years and 27% more than 10 years. But in 1991, only 9% of the securities had a maturity of less than 5 years, while 86% were more than 10 years (Vaidyanathan, 1995). During 1992, when the reform process started and efforts taken to move away from the administered interest rate mechanism to market determined rates, financial institutions were affected because longer maturity instruments have greater fluctuations for a given change in the interest rate structure. This becomes all the grimmer when interest rates move up because the prices of the holding come down significantly and in a marked-to-market situation, severely affect bottomlines of banks. Another associated issue is related to the coupon rate of the bonds. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the government was borrowing from banks using the statutory obligation route at artificially low interest rates ranging between 4.5% to 8% (The World Bank, 1995). The smaller the coupon rate of bonds, larger is the fluctuation associated with a change in interest rate structure. Because of artificially fixed low coupon rates, commercial banks faced adverse situations when the interest rate structure was liberalized to align with market rates.

Therefore, the banking industry in India has substantially more issues associated with interest rate risk, which is due to circumstances outside its control. This poses extra challenges to the banking sector and to that extent, they have to adopt innovative and sophisticated techniques to meet some of these challenges. There are certain measures available to measure interest rate risk. These include:

Maturity:Since it takes into account only the timing of the final principal payment, maturity is considered as an approximate measure of risk and in a sense does not quantify risk. Longer maturity bonds are generally subject to more interest rate risk than shorter maturity bonds.

Duration: Is the weighted average time of all cash flows, with weights being the present values of cash flows. Duration can again be used to determine the sensitivity of prices to changes in interest rates. It represents the percentage.change in value in response to changes in interest rates.

Convexity: Because of a change in market rates and because of passage of time, duration may not remain constant. With each successive basis point movement downward, bond prices increase at an increasing rate. Similarly if rates increase, the rate of decline of bond prices declines. This property is called convexity.

In the Indian context, banks in the past were primarily concerned about adhering to statutory liquidity ratio norms and to that extent they were acquiring government securities and holding it till maturity. But in the changed situation, namely moving away from administered interest rate structure to market determined rates, it becomes important for banks to equip themselves with some of these techniques, in order to immunize banks against interest rate risk.

Liquidity risk:Affects many Indian institutions. It is the potential inability to generate adequate cash to cope with a decline in deposits or increase in assets. To a large extent, it is an outcome of the mismatch in the maturity patterns of assets and liabilities. First, the proportion of central government securities with longer maturities in the Indian bond market, significantly increasing during the 1970s and 1980s, affected the banking system because longer maturity securities have greater vola tility for a given change in interest rate structure. This problem gets accentuated in the context of change in the main liability structure of the banks, namely the maturity period for term deposits. For instance in 1986, nearly 50% of term deposits had a maturity period of more than 5 years and only 20%, less than 2 years for all commercial banks. But in 1992, only 17% of term deposits were more than 5 years whereas 38% were less than 2 years.In such a situation, banks facing significant problems in terms of mismatch between average life of bonds and maturity pattern of term deposits. The Ministry of Finance as well as the RBI have taken steps to reduce the average maturity period of bonds held by commercial banks in the last few years. In other words, newer instruments are being floated with shorter maturities accompanied by roll over of earlier instruments with shorter maturities. In order to meet short-term liability payments, institutions have to maintain certain levels of cash at a!' points of time. Thus managing cash flows becomes crucial. Institutions could access low cost funding or could have assets that have sufficient short-term cash flows. Hence, banking institutions need to strike a reasonable trade off between being excessively liquid and relatively illiquid.

The recent failure of many non-banking financial companies can be ascribed to mismatch between asset-liability maturities, since many of them have invested in real estate type of assets with short-term borrowings. Particularly in a declining real estate market, it becomes difficult for non-banking financial companies to exit and meet obligations of lenders. In such a context, liquidity becomes a much more significant variable even at the cost of forgoing some profitability.

Risk measurement techniques

There are various techniques for measuring exposure of banks to interest rate risks:

Gap analysis model: Measures the direction and extent of asset-liability mismatch through either funding or maturity gap. It is computed for assets and liabilities of differing maturities and is calculated for a set time horizon. This model looks at the repricing gap that exists between the interest revenue earned 9n the bank's assets and the interest paid on its liabilities over a particular period of time (Saunders,1997). It highlights the net interest income exposure of the bank, to changes in interest rates in different maturity buckets.

Repricing gaps are calculated for assets and liabilities of differing maturities. A positive gap indicates that assets get repriced before liabilities, whereas, a negative gap indicates that liabilities get repriced before assets. The bank looks at the rate sensitivity (the time the bank manager will have to wait in order to change the posted rates on any asset or liability) of each asset and liability on the balance sheet. The general formula that is used is as follows:

NIIi= R ix(GAPi)

While NII is the net interest income, R refers to the interest rates impacting assets and liabilities in the relevant maturity bucket and GAP refers to the differences between the book value of the rate sensitive assets and the rate sensitive liabilities. Thus when there is a change in the interest rate, one can easily identify the impact of the change on the net interest income of the bank.Interest rate changes have a market value effect. The basic weakness with this model is that this method takes into account only the book value of assets and liabilities and hence ignores their market value. This method therefore is only a partial measure of the true interest rate exposure of a bank.

Duration model: Duration is an important measure of the interest rate sensitivity of assets and liabilities as it takes into account the time of arrival of cash flows and the maturity of assets and liabilities. It is the weighted average time to maturity of all the preset values of cash flows. Duration basic -ally refers to the average life of the asset or the liability.

DP p = D ( dR /1+R)

The above equation describes the percentage fall in price of the bond for a given increase in the required interest rates or yields. The larger the value of the duration, the more sensitive is the price of that asset or liability to changes in interest rates. As per the above equation, the bank will be immunized from interest rate risk if the duration gap between assets and the liabilities is zero. The duration model has one important benefit. It uses the market value of assets and liabilities.

Value at Risk: Refers to the maximum expected loss that a bank can suffer over a target horizon, given a certain confidence interval. It enables the calculation of market risk of a portfolio for which no historical data exists. It enables one to calculate the net worth of the organization at any particular point of time so that it is possible to focus on long-term risk implications of decisions that have already been taken or that are going to be taken. It is used extensively for measuring the market risk of a portfolio of assets and/or liabilities.

Asset-liability management strategies for correcting mismatch

The strategies that can be employed for correcting the mismatch in terms of D(A) > D(L) can be either liability or asset driven. Asset driven strategies for correcting the mismatch focus on shortening the duration of the asset portfolio. The com- monly employed asset based financing strategy is securitization. Typically thelong-term asset portfolios like the lease and hire purchase portfolios are securitized; and the resulting proceeds are either redeployed in short term assets or utilized for repaying short-term liabilities.

Liability driven strategies basically focus on lengthening the maturity profiles of liabilities. Such strategies can include for instance issue of external equity in the form of additional equity shares or compulsorily convertible preference shares (which can also help in augmenting the Tier I capital of finance companies), issue of redeemable preference shares, subordinated debt instruments, debentures.

Asset - Liability Management System

Over the last few years the Indian financial markets have witnessed wide ranging changes at fastpace. Intense competition for business involving both the assets and liabilities, together with increasing volatility in the domestic interest rates as well as foreign exchange rates, has brought pressure on the management of banks to maintain a good balance among spreads,profitability andlong-term viability. These pressures call for structured and comprehensive measures and not justad hoc action. The Management of banks has to base their business decisions on a dynamic andintegrated risk management system and process, driven by corporate strategy. Banks are exposedto several major risks in the course of their business - credit risk, interest rate risk, foreign exchange risk, equity commodity price risk, liquidity risk and operational risks.

This note lays down broad guidelines in respect of interest rate and liquidity risks management systems in banks which form part of the Asset-Liability Management (ALM) function. The initial focus of the ALM function would be to enforce the risk management discipline viz. managing business after assessing the risks involved. The objective of good riskmanagement programmes should be that these programmes will evolve into a strategic tool forbank management.

The ALM process rests on three pillars:

ALM information systems

Information is the key to the ALM process. Considering the large network of branches and the lack of an adequate system to collect information required for ALM which analyses information on the basis of residual maturity and behavioural pattern it will take time for banks in the presentstate to get the requisite information. The problem of ALM needs to be addressed by following anABC approach i.e. analysing the behaviour of asset and liability products in the top branchesaccounting for significant business and then making rational assumptions about the way in whichassets and liabilities would behave in other branches. In respect of foreign exchange, investmentportfolio and money market operations, in view of the centralised nature of the functions, it wouldbe much easier to collect reliable information. The data and assumptions can then be refined overtime as the bank management gain experience of conducting business within an ALM framework.The spread of computerisation will also help banks in accessing data.

ALM organisation

  1. The Board should have overall responsibility for management of risks and should decide the risk management policy of the bank and set limits for liquidity, interest rate, foreign exchange and equity price risks.
  2. The Asset - Liability Committee (ALCO) consisting of the bank's senior managementincluding CEO should be responsible for ensuring adherence to the limits set by the Board as wellas for deciding the business strategy of the bank (on the assets and liabilities sides) in line with thebank's budget and decided risk management objectives.
  3. The ALM desk consisting of operating staff should be responsible for analysing, monitoring and reporting the risk profiles to the ALCO. The staff should also prepare forecasts (simulations) showing the effects of various possible changes in market conditions related to thebalance sheet and recommend the action needed to adhere to bank's internal limits.

The ALCO is a decision making unit responsible for balance sheet planning from risk -return perspective including the strategic management of interest rate and liquidity risks. Each bank will have to decide on the role of its ALCO, its responsibility as also the decisions to be taken by it. The business and risk management strategy of the bank should ensure that the bankoperates within the limits / parameters set by the Board. The business issues that an ALCO wouldconsider, inter alia, will include product pricing for both deposits and advances, desired maturityprofile of the incremental assets and liabilities, etc. In addition to monitoring the risk levels of thebank, the ALCO should review the results of and progress in implementation of the decisionsmade in the previous meetings. The ALCO would also articulate the current interest rate view ofthe bank and base its decisions for future business strategy on this view. In respect of the fundingpolicy, for instance, its responsibility would be to decide on source and mix of liabilities or sale ofassets. Towards this end, it will have to develop a view on future direction of interest ratemovements and decide on a funding mix between fixed vs floating rate funds, wholesale vs retaildeposits, money market vs capital market funding, domestic vs foreign currency funding, etc.

Composition of ALCO

The size (number of members) of ALCO would depend on the size of each institution, business mix and organisational complexity. To ensure commitment of the Top Management, the CEO/CMD or ED should head the Committee. The Chiefs of Investment, Credit, Funds Management / Treasury (forex and domestic), International Banking and Economic Research can be members of the Committee. In addition the Head of the Information Technology Division should also be an invitee for building up of MIS and related computerisation. Some banks may even have sub-committees.

ALM process:

The scope of ALM function can be described as follows:

The guidelines given in this note mainly address Liquidity and Interest Rate risks.

Liquidity Risk Management

Measuring and managing liquidity needs are vital activities of commercial banks. By assuring a bank's ability to meet its liabilities as they become due, liquidity management can reduce the probability of an adverse situation developing. The importance of liquidity transcendsindividual institutions, as liquidity shortfall in one institution can have repercussions on the entiresystem. Bank management should measure not only the liquidity positions of banks on an ongoingbasis but also examine how liquidity requirements are likely to evolve under crisis scenarios.Experience shows that assets Commonly considered as liquid like Government securities andother money market instruments could also become illiquid when the market and players arunidirectional. Therefore liquidity has to be tracked through maturity or cash flow mismatches.For measuring and managing net funding requirements, the use of a maturity ladder andcalculation of cumulative surplus or deficit of funds at selected maturity dates is adopted as standard tool.

The Maturity Profile as measuring the future cashflows of banks in different time buckets. The time buckets given the Statutory Reserve cycle of 14 days may be distributed as under:

  1. 1 to 14 days
  2. 15 to 28 days
  3. 29 days and upto 3 months
  4. Over 3 months and upto 6 months
  5. Over 6 months and upto 12 months
  6. Over 1 year and upto 2 years
  7. Over 2 years and upto 5 years
  8. Over 5 years

Bibliography

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