Credit Risk

We measure and manage our credit risk following the below philosophy and principles:

  • The key principle of credit risk management is client due diligence, which is aligned with our country and industry portfolio strategies. Prudent client selection is achieved in collaboration with our business line counterparts as a first line of defense. In all our group divisions consistent standards are applied in the respective credit decision processes.
  • We actively aim to prevent undue concentration and long tail-risks (large unexpected losses) by ensuring a diversified and marketable credit portfolio, effectively protecting the bank’s capital in all market conditions. Client, industry, country and product-specific concentrations are actively assessed and managed against our risk appetite.
  • We aim to avoid large directional credit risk on a counterparty and portfolio level by applying stringent underwriting standards combined with a pro-active hedging and distribution model and collateralization of our hold portfolio where feasible.
  • We are selective in taking outright cash risk positions unless secured, guaranteed and/or adequately hedged. Exceptions to this general principle are lower risk, short-term transactions and facilities supporting specific trade finance requests as well as low risk businesses where the margin allows for adequate loss coverage.
  • We aim to secure our derivative portfolio through collateral agreements and may additionally hedge concentration risks to further mitigate credit risks from underlying market movements.
  • Every extension of credit or material change to a credit facility (such as its tenor, collateral structure or major covenants) to any counterparty requires credit approval at the appropriate authority level. We assign credit approval authorities to individuals according to their qualifications, experience and training, and we review these periodically.
  • We measure and consolidate all our credit exposures to each obligor on a global basis that applies across our consolidated Group, in line with regulatory requirements of the German Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz).

Postbank has comparable uniform standards in place.

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