A firm must at all times maintain liquidity resources which are adequate, both as to amount and quality, to ensure that there is no significant risk that its liabilities cannot be met as they fall due.
For the purpose of (1):
a firm may not include liquidity resources that may be made available through emergency liquidity assistance from a central bank (including the European Central Bank).
For the purposes of the overall liquidity adequacy rule, liquidity resources are not confined to the amount or value of a firm's marketable, or otherwise realisable, assets. Rather, in assessing the adequacy of those resources, a firm should have regard to the overall character of the resources available to it which enable it to meet its liabilities as they fall due. Therefore, for the purposes of that rule, a firm should ensure that:
it holds sufficient assets which are marketable, or otherwise realisable;
it is able to generate funds from those assets in a timely manner;
it maintains a prudent funding profile in which its assets are of appropriate maturities, taking account of the expected timing of that firm's liabilities; and
it is able to generate unsecured funding of appropriate tenor in a timely manner.
The overall liquidity adequacy rule is expressed to apply to each firm on a solo basis. Each firm must be able to satisfy that rule relying solely on its own liquidity resources. Where the firm is an incoming EEA firm or a third country BIPRU firm, compliance with the overall liquidity adequacy rule with respect to the UK branch must be achieved relying solely on liquidity resources that satisfy the conditions in BIPRU 12.2.3R.
The starting point, therefore, is that each firm, or where relevant its UK branch, must be self-sufficient in terms of its own liquidity adequacy. The FSA does, however, recognise that there are circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a firm or branch to rely on liquidity support provided by other entities in its group or from elsewhere within the firm. A firm wishing to rely on support of this kind, whether for itself or for its UK branch, may only do so with the consent of the FSA, given by way of a waiver under section 148 (Modification or waiver of rules) of the Act to the overall liquidity adequacy rule.
The purpose of BIPRU 12.2.8R is to ensure that an ILAS BIPRU firm has a buffer of liquid assets which are available to meet those liabilities which fall due in periods of stress experienced by that firm. Those periods of stress may be both market-wide and idiosyncratic in nature. The FSA acknowledges that in periods of stress a firm's liquid assets buffer may be eroded.
The FSA recognises, however, that it may take time for a firm to build a buffer which is of a sufficient size and quality to help reduce the effect of periods of stress on the firm. In particular, the FSA recognises that the transition from the FSA's liquidity regime in force immediately prior to the BIPRU 12 regime is likely to be a gradual one for many firms. The FSA will seek to agree with a firm an appropriate period of time over which its liquid assets buffer ought to be built. The FSA will, in any event, incorporate into the individual liquidity guidance which it gives to the firm details of the steps that it expects the firm to take so that it may establish an appropriately robust liquid assets buffer.
BIPRU 12.5 sets out the ILAS framework. That section describes some of the stress tests that a standard ILAS BIPRU firm must carry out in conducting its ILAA and identifies a number of sources of liquidity risk in relation to which a firm is required to assess the impact of those stresses. For a standard ILAS BIPRU firm, the requirements in BIPRU 12.5 are in addition to the stress testing requirements in BIPRU 12.4. The rules in BIPRU 12.5 require a standard ILAS BIPRU firm to report the results of both sets of stress tests in its ILAA, while the rules in BIPRU 12.6 require a simplified ILAS BIPRU firm to report those results in its ILSA.
After completing a review of the ILAA as part of the SLRP, the FSA will give a standard ILAS BIPRU firm individual liquidity guidance, advising it of the amount and quality of liquidity resources which the FSA considers are appropriate having regard to the liquidity risk profile of the firm. In giving individual liquidity guidance, the FSA will also advise the firm of what it considers to be a prudent funding profile for the firm. In giving the firm individual liquidity guidance as to its funding profile, the FSA will consider the extent to which the firm's liabilities are adequately matched by assets of appropriate maturities. Although the FSA may have given a firm individual liquidity guidance, this does not remove the need for the firm to monitor its liquidity risk profile on an ongoing basis and to consider whether it should be holding liquidity resources that are greater in amount or higher in quality, or maintaining a more prudent funding profile, than those advised in its individual liquidity guidance.
BIPRU 12.5 sets out in greater detail the FSA's ILAS regime. BIPRU 12.9 sets out in greater detail the FSA's process for issuing an ILAS BIPRU firm with individual liquidity guidance and its approach to monitoring a firm's adherence to that guidance or, as the case may be, to the simplified buffer requirement.