US banks fear $5 trillion balance impact

Analysts at
warn the planned tightening of accounting rules for off-balance sheet vehicles
would force US banks to reconsider arrangements and could result in up to $5
trillion (?2.5 trillion) of assets coming back on to their books.

‘We think it is very likely that these vehicles will come back on balance
sheet.’ Birgit Specht, head of securitisation analysis at Citigroup, told
Financial Times.

‘This will not affect liquidity because [they] are funded, but it will affect
debt-to-equity ratios [at banks] and so significantly impact banks’ ability to

Specht told a seminar on asset-backed securities in Cannes the uncertainty
about the change was making banks concerned about their investments. ‘Banks are
not investing [in assets] right now because of funding issues and regulatory
uncertainty,’ he said.

Further reading:

IIF backtracks on fair value view

the Financial Times story

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Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.