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Statement of Guidance
Loan Loss Provision (Allowances)

1. Statement of Objectives

1.1. To provide guidance on the requirement imposed on licensees by Rule 6(B). procedures to recognise, measure and monitor loan impairment.

1.2. To ensure that banks have adequate loan loss provision policies and 1.3. The board and senior management are responsible for understanding and determining the nature and level of risk being taken by the bank and how these risks relate to the level of general and specific allowances.


2.1. The Rule applies to all banks, however the methods by which it is implemented by banks should reflect the scope and complexity of individual bank’s operations. 2.2. The focus of the Rule is on loan loss provision practices relating to the credit risk in loans. While the Rule does not deal with provisions for other banking activities (e.g., trading and derivatives activities), the Authority believes that banks should ensure that the credit risk in these areas should also be prudently measured and managed.


3. Loan Impairment – recognition and measurement

3.1. A bank should identify and recognise impairment in a loan or a collectively assessed group of loans when it is probable that the bank will not be able to collect, or there is no longer reasonable assurance that the bank will collect, all amounts due according to the contractual terms of the loan agreement. The impairment should be recognised by reducing the carrying amount of the loan(s) through an allowance or charge-off and charging the income statement in the period in which the impairment occurs.

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2 the debtor’s payment record. 3. In such cases.5. To ensure that impairment in loans is identified in a timely manner. 3.3.1 whether the level of loan loss allowances is sufficient to cover probable losses associated with the total loan portfolio. The evaluation of each loan or group of related loans should be based upon the creditworthiness of the particular borrower and the creditworthiness of the group to which the borrower belongs. 3.2.3 the prospects for support from any financially responsible guarantors. Factors to consider include: 3.______________________________________________________________________________ 3.2.2. and 3. identified but not yet finally determined losses are often recognised through specific allowances. net worth and future prospects.3. 3.1 the ability of the borrower to repay all amounts due according to the contractual terms of the loan agreement. Sound practices for recognition and measurement of loan impairment. 3. should consider: 3.5 country risk.4 the nature and degree of protection provided by the current and stabilised cash flow and value of any underlying collateral. In such cases. loans should be reviewed for impairment in credit quality on at least an annual basis.2 whether specific allowances are sufficient to cover all ascertained and expected losses inherent in individual loans.3. all or the bulk of a bank’s allowances are general allowances and identified losses are charged off at an early stage.3.doc . Management should establish a programme to periodically monitor and analyse collateral. Recognition of impairment should be considered whenever circumstances cause uncertainty about a borrower’s ability to repay all amounts due _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Policy and Research Division Page 2 of 13 L:\Administration\IT Division\Projects\Website\Content\Updates\SOG\SOG_Loan_Loss_Provision. which should be valued on a prudent basis. 3.3. overall financial condition and resources.3. debt service capacity. 3. financial performance.4.

for economic or legal reasons relating to the borrower’s financial difficulties. loans generally should be identified as impaired when payments are contractually a minimum number of days in arrears reflecting payment practices for the type of loan in question. 3.______________________________________________________________________________ according to the contractual terms of the loan agreement. the borrower’s delay in making principal or interest payments). In the case of overdrafts. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Policy and Research Division Page 3 of 13 Management should use both internal and external information. 3.1 information about significant financial difficulties of the borrower (e.5.. 3. One factor that generally indicates that there has been a deterioration in the credit quality of a loan is that the borrower has defaulted in making interest or principal payments when due on the loan. as indicated by a downgrading of credit status by a credit rating agency). Evidence of impairment L:\Administration\IT Division\Projects\Website\Content\Updates\SOG\SOG_Loan_Loss_Provision. As a starting point.doc . 3. includes: 3. that is. 3.g. revolving lines and other extensions of credit with no pre-established repayment terms.5. Banks are required to classify loans and other interest-bearing assets that are in arrears in principal or interest for 90 days or more as “non-performing”. they are to be considered as “90 Days & Over Past Due” when they have been inactive for a period of at least 90 days.g.5.g..4 the granting by the lender to the borrower. as 30 – 89 days past due or 90-days and over past due.5. This report is based on the number of days principal or interest has been past due.. For reporting purposes the banks are required to report “Past Due” loans to the Monetary Authority on Schedule A: Past Due and Non-Accrual Loans of the BS Form.3 a high probability of bankruptcy or other financial reorganisation of the borrower (e. as indicated by liquidity or cash flow projections). of a concession that the lender would not otherwise consider.7. and deposits are insufficient to cover the interest capitalised during such period.6.2 an actual breach of contract (e.

3. Notwithstanding management’ discretion. Larger-balance loans and.doc . e. portfolios of consumer loans.10.11. However. In such cases. other loans should be reviewed on an individual loan basis. this discretion should be based on a sound and timely credit evaluation.8.______________________________________________________________________________ 3. where practicable. Interest should no longer be accrued on the books of the bank as Previously accrued but For reporting income unless paid by the borrower in cash. A bank should measure an impaired loan at its estimated recoverable amount. uncollected interest should be reversed from income at the time these accounts are placed on non-performing/non-accrual status. 3. For groups of homogeneous loans of small amounts. the extent of impairment and the related allowances or charge-offs should be determined _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Policy and Research Division Page 4 of 13 purposes banks are required to reported separately on Schedule A of the BS individual loan that has been identified as impaired should therefore be L:\Administration\IT Division\Projects\Website\Content\Updates\SOG\SOG_Loan_Loss_Provision. Credit deterioration in individually identified loans should be timely The carrying amount of an recognised to the greatest extent possible through the establishment of specific allowances or through charge-offs. Form Non-accruing Loans. 3. The measurement of loans should reflect any diminution in the estimated recoverable amount below their recorded investment.9. bank management has some discretion in determining when reasonable assurance of collecting the contractual amounts no longer exists or when collecting the contractual amounts is not probable. which have been placed on a cash basis for accounting and reporting purposes should be considered as Non-accruing Loans. non-performing loans and other interest-bearing assets. and should be exercised in accordance with the considerations to Accounting Principles used in the preparation of annual audited financial statements and the Loan Loss Provision (Allowances) Policy.g. Inevitably. reduced to its estimated recoverable amount. it is often not practicable to investigate the creditworthiness of each individual borrower on a regular basis.

14. As soon as adequate information is available to identify losses on individually impaired loans. but they cannot yet be ascribed to individual loans. 3.3 various statistical methodologies.14. recording of appropriate charge-offs. general allowances should be established.12. past loss experience. 3. 3. current economic conditions and other relevant circumstances. General allowances should be determined by using one or several of a number of different methodologies including: 3.______________________________________________________________________________ on a portfolio basis by applying formulae that take into consideration factors such as an analysis of arrears. ageing of balances. past loss experience. 3. 3.14. General allowances include allowances against impairment that has been determined to be present in a group or pool of loans that share common identifiable characteristics.14.4 estimating impairment in the group based on the bank’s judgement of _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Policy and Research Division General allowances are not a substitute for the establishment of adequate specific allowances or the the impact of recent events and changes in economic conditions that Page 5 of 13 L:\Administration\IT Division\Projects\Website\Content\Updates\SOG\SOG_Loan_Loss_Provision. known to the bank. the effect of those events should ordinarily become apparent within a reasonable time frame through delinquency or the receipt of new financial statements or other information that triggers the classification of the loan.13.1 applying a formula to the group that takes into account the analysis of arrears. ageing of balances. When latent losses are known to exist. including a review of all significant loans on an individual basis.14. General allowances are often considered to represent an interim step pending the identification of losses on individual loans that are impaired. current economic conditions and other relevant circumstances. 3.doc .2 migration analysis. General allowances are also established against the portfolio based on an analysis of its various components. The occurrence of a loss event on an individual loan might not be immediately However. the general allowances would be replaced by specific allowances (or charge-offs).

i. 3.15.2 the borrower has resumed paying the full amount of the scheduled contractual principal and interest payments for a reasonable period. 3.16. none of the loan’s principal and interest is due and unpaid.15. if it is a reliable indicator of the loan’s estimated recoverable amount. 3.15. 3. As a general principle. Acceptable methods for calculating the estimated recoverable amount of an individual impaired loan are: 3. A bank should measure the estimated recoverable amount of a restructured troubled loan taking into account the cost of all concessions at the date of restructuring. the effective interest rate inherent in the original loan agreement.16. An impaired loan should only be restored to unimpaired status when the contractual amount of principal and interest is deemed to be fully collectible in accordance with the terms of the loan agreement. 3. A loan is collateral-dependent if repayment of the loan is expected to be provided solely by the underlying collateral. The estimates of future cash flows should be the bank’s best estimate based on reasonable and supportable assumptions and projections.16. this should take place when: 3.1 The present value of expected future cash flows discounted at an appropriate interest rate.15.17. and the bank expects repayment of the remaining contractual principal and interest as scheduled in the loan agreement.e.16. or 3.3 The observable market price..______________________________________________________________________________ indicate the existence of impairment.2 The fair value of the collateral to the extent the loan is collateraldependent.doc .1 the bank has received repayment of the loan’s past due principal and interest. The restructuring may include the acceptance of property in _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Policy and Research Division Page 6 of 13 L:\Administration\IT Division\Projects\Website\Content\Updates\SOG\SOG_Loan_Loss_Provision.3 the loan otherwise becomes well secured and is in the process of collection. and all remaining contractual payments (including full compensation for overdue payments) are deemed to be collectible in a timely manner. 3.

In such a case.18. 3. or an equity interest in the borrower in full or partial satisfaction of the loan. 4. The adequacy of specific and general allowances should be reviewed in the preparation of annual and interim reports or more frequently. the bank should not understate or overstate loan losses in order _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Policy and Research Division Page 7 of 13 L:\Administration\IT Division\Projects\Website\Content\Updates\SOG\SOG_Loan_Loss_Provision.doc .1 a modification of terms.18. 3. Evidence of impairment includes a troubled loan restructuring. The overall guiding concepts used for loan loss provision should at all times be based on accounting principles used by the reporting bank in the preparation of its annual audited financial statements and Loan Loss Provision (Allowances) Policy.3.______________________________________________________________________________ partial satisfaction of the loan. the recorded investment in the loan is reduced by the fair value of the property received less cost to sell. a reduction in the interest from that originally agreed or a reduction in the principal amount.. receivables from third parties.1. limited to. A bank should maintain an overall allowance at a level that is adequate to absorb estimated credit losses associated with the loan portfolio. The aggregate amount of specific and general allowances should be adequate to absorb estimated credit losses associated with the loan portfolio. Concessions granted in a troubled loan restructuring may include. A restructuring may also involve the substitution of a new debtor for the original borrower or the addition of a new debtor. 3. e. to ensure that the aggregate amount of allowances is consistent with current information about the collectibility of the loan portfolio. but are not necessarily 4. When establishing allowances.2. i. 4. other assets.e. where the lender has granted a concession to the borrower due to a deterioration of the borrower’s financial condition or other financial difficulties. the following situations: 3. if warranted.18. Adequacy of the overall allowance 4.19.g..2 the transfer from the borrower to the bank of real estate.

and changes in the level of such concentrations.doc . a sufficient basis to determine the appropriate level for the overall allowance. 4. including the condition of various market segments. there must be documentation that clearly demonstrates the estimated impact of the changes in the factors on the historical loss experience. While historical loss experience and recent trends in losses are a reasonable starting point for the institution’s analysis. 4. including: 4.6 Changes in the risk profile of the portfolio as a whole.4. volume and severity of past due and adversely classified loans. 4.4. The method of determining the overall allowance should ensure the timely recognition of loan losses.4. Income recognition 5. 4.3 Changes in the trend. these factors are not.4.1 Changes in lending policies and procedures. by themselves. and not as it is received in Page 8 of 13 _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Policy and Research Division L:\Administration\IT Division\Projects\Website\Content\Updates\SOG\SOG_Loan_Loss_Provision. as well as trends in the volume of impaired loans. 4.4. troubled debt restructurings and other loan modifications.5 The effect of external factors such as competition and legal and regulatory requirements on the level of estimated credit losses in the institution’s current portfolio.4 The existence and effect of any concentrations of credit. charge-off.5.______________________________________________________________________________ to achieve a desired level of earnings in current or future reporting periods. and recovery practices.2 Changes in international.4. Management should also consider any current factors that are likely to cause losses associated with the bank’s portfolio to differ from historical loss experience.1.4. including underwriting standards and collection. 4. A bank should recognise interest income on an unimpaired loan on an accrual basis using the effective interest rate method. national and local economic and business conditions and developments. When management adjusts allowance estimates for these factors. 5. Interest earned on unimpaired loans should be recognised in the income statement on a level-yield basis as it accrues using the effective interest rate method. 4.

Interest revenue is then allocated to periods over the term of the loan by applying the effective interest rate so as to achieve interest being reported at a constant yield on the recorded investment.1 Uncollected interest that has been previously accrued should be reversed or included in the loan balance with an adequate specific allowance established against it. Thus.2. interest may be accrued and reported in net income to reflect updated present values based on the effective interest rate inherent in the original loan agreement. Interest on impaired loans should not contribute to net income if doubt exists concerning the collectibility of loan principal or interest. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Policy and Research Division Page 9 of 13 L:\Administration\IT Division\Projects\Website\Content\Updates\SOG\SOG_Loan_Loss_Provision. but does not accrue interest to reflect updated present values. 5. 5. In some banks.doc . Impaired loans should be measured at their estimated recoverable amount. An institution that applies a present value approach. When a loan is identified as impaired. under the effective interest rate method. may include the changes in present values in the adjustment to allowances that is reported in the income statement. 5.2.______________________________________________________________________________ cash or becomes due. a bank should cease accruing interest in accordance with the terms of the contract. The effective interest is calculated as the rate of interest required to discount the contractual cash flows over the term of the loan to an amount that equals the cost of the loan. when an impaired loan is carried at the present value of expected future cash flows.2.2 Some or all of the cash interest payments received on an impaired loan for which the accrual of interest has ceased may be reported as interest income on a cash basis as long as the recorded investment in the loan less any specific allowance is deemed fully collectible in a timely manner. interest includes the amount of amortisation of any discount or premium between the cost of a loan and its amount at maturity and the amortisation of any loan fees and costs.

The board should be informed regularly of the loan loss provision and loan Page 10 of 13 _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Policy and Research Division L:\Administration\IT Division\Projects\Website\Content\Updates\SOG\SOG_Loan_Loss_Provision.4. well documented credit evaluation of the borrower’s financial condition and other factors affecting the prospects for repayment. Board and Senior Management 6. A loan on which a bank has ceased to accrue interest should only be restored to accrual status when the loan has returned to unimpaired status as discussed in the Section on Accounting for Loan unless (1) the loan has been formally restructured (as discussed below) or (2) the loan has been acquired at a discount that relates to its credit quality and the discount that is considered collectible is accreted in accordance with sound principles. 6. 5.1. The board and senior management are responsible for understanding and determining the nature and level of risk being taken by the bank and how these risks relate to the level of general and specific allowances. a reasonable period of demonstrated payment performance in accordance with the modified terms is an important factor in determining whether there is reasonable assurance of repayment and performance according to the loan’s modified terms. An impaired loan that has been restructured so as to be reasonably assured of repayment and performance according to its modified terms may be returned to accrual status. lease or rental contracts obtained by the borrower or other developments that are expected to significantly increase the borrower’s cash flow and debt service capacity and the borrower’s commitment to repay.3. including consideration of the borrower’s repayment performance and other relevant factors.______________________________________________________________________________ 5. A bank’s board of directors should approve the loan loss provision policies and procedures to recognise.doc . monitor and control loan impairment. Also. Circumstances that may provide evidence of a relative improvement in the borrower’s condition and debt service capacity include substantial and reliable sales. A bank’s determination of the ultimate collectibility of a loan for purposes of reporting interest income on a cash basis or restoring the loan to accrual status should be supported by a current. 5.5. measure.

measuring. develops a system to relate risk to the bank’s provision (allowance) levels. monitoring.doc . and g) Documented its process for vetting both quantitative and qualitative methods used in the determining its general allowance. and establishes a method of monitoring compliance with internal policies. 6.3. Terminology For consistency. b) Ensuring that loans are appropriately valued. c) Exercising appropriate judgement to recognise the impression in valuation estimates. 6. It should also ensure that management establishes a measurement system for assessing risk. The board is also responsible for ensuring that the formality and sophistication of the risk management processes are appropriate in the light of the bank’s risk profile and business plan. d) Maintaining effective systems and controls for identifying. uncollectable credits written off. The board has responsibility for setting the bank’s risk tolerance levels. 7. and addressing loan quality problems in a timely manner.4. f) Providing appropriate disclosure. e) Establishing documented policies and procedures for the determining and maintaining of general allowances. Management responsibilities for managing risk in the context of loan impairment and loan loss provision (allowances) should include among other things: a) Monitoring and managing the loan quality. and expected or probable losses adequately provided for. the following terminologies are applied: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Policy and Research Division Page 11 of 13 L:\Administration\IT Division\Projects\Website\Content\Updates\SOG\SOG_Loan_Loss_Provision. 6.2.______________________________________________________________________________ impairment.

7. overdrafts and credit card loans. unamortised premium or discount (i.5. ‘Loan Loss Reserve’ or ‘allowance’ for loan impairment is the amount that reduces the recorded investment in a loan or a group of loans to the carrying amount on the balance sheet. A ‘specific allowance’ is an allowance that is established against a loss that is identified in an individual loan. charge-offs. project finance.1. The ‘carrying amount’ of a loan or a group of loans is the net amount reported for the loan or group of loans on the balance sheet.e. 7. financial institutions. Loans comprise: a) consumer instalments.. 7. d) direct financing leases. i.6. usually with interest. b) residential mortgages. and loans to businesses.3. Loan ‘impairment’ represents deterioration in the credit quality of one or more loans such that it is probable that the bank will be unable to collect.2. loans.e. in substance. c) non-personal loans. 7.doc . The ‘recorded investment’ in a loan or group of loans is the face or principal amount. or on demand. a difference between acquisition cost and principal) and unamortised loan fees and costs. and adjusted to reflect accrued but uncollected interest..4. the recorded investment less any specific and general allowances. or there is no longer reasonable assurance that the bank will collect. governments and their agencies. It is the accumulated provisions or charges made against operating earnings in the current and prior year. taking into account payments applied to reduce principal.______________________________________________________________________________ 7. net of loss _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Policy and Research Division Page 12 of 13 L:\Administration\IT Division\Projects\Website\Content\Updates\SOG\SOG_Loan_Loss_Provision. and e) other financing arrangements that are. 7. A ‘loan’ is a financial asset resulting from the delivery of cash or other assets by a lender to a borrower in return for an obligation to repay on a specified date or dates. all amounts due according to the contractual terms of the loan agreement(s). such as commercial mortgages.

Specific loan loss reserves are reported under Item 4. 7. for economic or legal reasons related to the borrower’s financial difficulties.10. the amount of allowances. A ‘general allowance’ is an allowance that is established for latent losses that are known to exist.1 of the Monetary Authority’s BS Form. A charge-off is made when all or part of a loan is deemed uncollectible or there is otherwise no realistic prospect of recovery. A ‘charge-off’ (or write-off) reduces the recorded investment in the loan and. if allowances previously have been established. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Policy and Research Division Page 13 of 13 L:\Administration\IT Division\Projects\Website\Content\Updates\SOG\SOG_Loan_Loss_Provision.5 of the Monetary Authority’s BS Form. but cannot yet be ascribed to individual loans. The ‘effective interest rate’ of a loan is calculated as the rate of interest required to discount the contractual cash flows over the term of the loan to equate to the acquisition cost of the loan.7. A loan is a ‘restructured troubled loan’ when the lender. 7. 7.______________________________________________________________________________ charge-offs.9. 7. grants a concession to the borrower that it would not otherwise consider.8.doc . General loan loss reserves are reported under Item 13.