Liquidity risk is the risk arising from our potential inability to meet all payment obligations when they come due or only being able to meet these obligations at excessive costs.
Our liquidity risk management framework has been an important factor in maintaining adequate liquidity and in managing our funding profile during 2014.
The Management Board defines our liquidity risk strategy, and in particular our appetite for liquidity risk based on recommendations made by the Capital and Risk Committee. At least once every year the Management Board will review and approve the limits which are applied to the Group to measure and control liquidity risk as well as our long-term funding and issuance plan.
Our Treasury function is responsible for the management of our liquidity and funding risk globally as defined in the liquidity risk strategy. Our liquidity risk management framework is designed to identify, measure and manage our liquidity risk position. Liquidity Risk Control is responsible for the internal reporting on liquidity and funding across the firm on a global and local level. The Management Board, in this context, is updated at least weekly via a Liquidity Scorecard. In addition Liquidity Risk Control is responsible for the oversight and validation of the bank’s liquidity risk framework. This includes the independent validation of all liquidity risk models as well as the review and back-testing of limits. Our liquidity risk management approach starts at the intraday level forecasting cash flows and factoring in our access to Central Banks. It then covers tactical liquidity risk management dealing with access to secured and unsecured funding sources. Finally, the strategic perspective comprises the maturity profile of all assets and liabilities (Funding Matrix) and our issuance strategy.
Our cash-flow based reporting system provides daily liquidity risk information to global and local management.
Stress testing and scenario analysis plays a central role in our liquidity risk management framework. This also incorporates an assessment of asset liquidity, i.e., the characteristics of our asset inventory, under various stress scenarios as well as contingent funding requirements from off-balance-sheet commitments. Daily stress test results are used to monitor our ongoing compliance with the Board’s overall liquidity risk appetite. Furthermore, our short-term wholesale funding profile limits (both unsecured and secured) which are a key tool of the framework are calibrated against the stress test results on a monthly basis.
Our Group-wide reporting system tracks all contractual cash flows from wholesale funding sources on a daily basis over a 12-month horizon. We consider as wholesale funding for this purpose unsecured liabilities raised primarily by our Global Liquidity Management business as well as secured liabilities primarily raised by our Global Liquidity Management and Equities businesses. Such liabilities primarily come from corporates, banks and other financial institutions, governments and sovereigns. Wholesale funding profile limits, which are calibrated against our monthly stress testing results and are approved by the Management Board according to internal governance, express our maximum appetite for liquidity risk. The wholesale funding limits apply to the respective cumulative global cash outflows as well as the total volume of unsecured wholesale funding and are monitored on a daily basis. Our Liquidity Reserves are the primary mitigant against stresses in short-term wholesale funding markets. At an individual entity level we may set liquidity outflow limits across a broader range of cash flows where this is considered to be meaningful or appropriate.
We use stress testing and scenario analysis to evaluate the impact of sudden and severe stress events on our liquidity position. The scenarios we apply have been based on historic events, such as the 1987 stock market crash, the 1990 U.S. liquidity crunch and the September 2001 terrorist attacks, liquidity crisis case studies and hypothetical events, as well as the lessons learned from the latest financial markets crisis.
They include a prolonged term money-market and secured funding freeze, collateral repudiation, reduced fungibility of currencies, stranded syndications as well as other systemic knock-on effects. The scenario types cover institution-specific events (i.e., rating downgrade), market related events (i.e., systemic market risk) as well as a combination of both, which links a systemic market shock with a multi-notch rating downgrade. We apply stress scenarios to selected significant currencies and entities. As a result of the recent downgrades of Deutsche Bank’s credit ratings, we have adjusted the most severe idiosyncratic scenario (previously “A-2/P-2”). This scenario is now called “severe downgrade scenario” and describes a downgrade of Deutsche Bank to a long-term rating level of BBB/Baa2 and short-term rating of A-3/P-3 across all major rating agencies.
Under each of these scenarios we assume a high degree of rollovers of maturing loans to non-wholesale customers (in order to support franchise value) whereas the rollover of liabilities will be partially or fully impaired resulting in a funding gap. In this context, wholesale funding from the most risk sensitive sources (including unsecured funding from commercial banks, money market mutual funds, as well as asset backed commercial paper) is assumed to contractually roll off in the acute phase of stress. In addition, we analyze the potential funding requirements from contingent risks which could materialize under stress. Those include drawings of credit facilities, increased collateral requirements under derivative agreements as well as outflows from deposits with a contractual rating trigger. We then model the steps we would take to counterbalance the resulting net shortfall in funding. Countermeasures would include our Liquidity Reserves, as well as potential further asset liquidity from other unencumbered securities. Stress testing is conducted at a global and individual legal entity level and across significant non-eurozone currencies, in particular USD as the major non-EUR funding currency. We review material stress-test assumptions on a regular basis and have increased the severity of a number of these assumptions through the course of 2014.
Stress testing is fully integrated in our liquidity risk management framework. For this purpose we use the contractual wholesale cash flows per currency and product over an eight-week horizon (which we consider the most critical time span in a liquidity crisis) and apply the relevant stress case to all potential risk drivers from on-balance sheet and off-balance sheet products. Beyond the eight week time horizon we analyze on a monthly basis the impact of a more prolonged stress period extending out to twelve months. The liquidity stress testing provides the basis for the bank’s contingency funding plan which is approved by the Management Board.