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Write-down is credit negative for holders of erstwhile LVB’s junior securities: Moody’s

The write-down of Basel III Tier 2 securities of the erstwhile Lakshmi Vilas Bank’s would be credit negative for holders of junior securities because they would lose their investment, Moody’s said in a report on Tuesday.

But it was credit positive for bank depositors and senior creditors because of the loss-absorption capacity provided by Tier 2, it said.

On November 26, LVB announced that it had written down in full its Basel III Tier 2 securities because the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had deemed the bank to be non-viable or approaching non-viability. Terms and conditions of Indian Basel III compliant AT1 and Tier 2 securities specify that such securities will be written down before authorities can step in to support a bank.

“This marks the first time that an Indian bank has written down Basel III Tier 2 securities and follows Yes Bank Ltd.’s write-down of Basel III Additional Tier 1 (AT1) securities earlier in the year for the same reason,” Moody’s said.

The write-down is consistent with the approach regulators use globally to minimise the cost of a bank bailout to taxpayers, it said. “However, before these two cases, the regulator had never imposed losses on junior creditors; it has now set a precedent,” it added.

Previously, the RBI had protected junior creditors by allowing weak banks to service their contractual obligations on those securities. Also, in 2017-18, the RBI permitted several weak banks, which were under prompt corrective action plan, to buy back AT1 securities to lower the risk of a trigger event occurring under Basel III rules.

The RBI rescued the troubled LVB and Yes Bank by invoking Section 45 of India’s Banking Regulation Act 1949 because the banks experienced a significant deterioration in their solvency and liquidity.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 5:53:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/markets/write-down-is-credit-negative-for-holders-of-erstwhile-lvbs-junior-securities-moodys/article33224870.ece

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