PRU 2.2.12 R requires a firm to calculate its capital resources for the purpose of PRU in accordance with Table PRU 2.2.14 R, subject to the limits in PRU 2.2.16 R to PRU 2.2.26 R. Table PRU 2.2.14 R and PRU 2.2.86 R require a firm to deduct from total capital resources the value of any asset included in an insurance fund which is not an admissible asset as listed in PRU 2 Annex 1R.PRU 2 Annex 1R provides that a derivative, quasi-derivative or stock lending transaction will only be an admissible asset if it is approved. This section sets out the criteria for determining when a derivative, quasi-derivative or stock lending transaction is approved for this purpose. PRU 4.3.5 R to PRU 4.3.35 R set out the criteria for derivatives and quasi-derivatives. PRU 4.3.36 R to PRU 4.3.41 R set out the criteria for stock lending transactions.
it is effected or issued:
A derivative or quasi-derivative is held for the purpose of efficient portfolio management if the firm reasonably believes the derivative or quasi-derivative (either alone or together with any other covered transactions) enables the firm to achieve its investment objectives by one of the following:
The generation of additional capital or income falls within PRU 4.3.6 R (1) where it arises from:
taking advantage of pricing imperfections in relation to the acquisition and disposal (or disposal and acquisition) of rights in relation to assets the same as, or equivalent to, admissible assets; or
receiving a premium for selling a covered call option or its equivalent, the underlying of which is an admissible asset, even if that additional capital or income is obtained at the expense of surrendering the chance of greater capital or income.
PRU 4.3.8 R does not require that a derivative or quasi-derivative has no possible adverse consequences. Often a derivative or quasi-derivative is effected to protect against a severe adverse consequence that only arises in one circumstance. In all other circumstances it may itself lead to adverse consequences, even if only because it expires worthless resulting in the loss of the purchase price. Conversely a derivative or quasi-derivative may reduce risk in a wide range of circumstances but lead to adverse consequences when a particular circumstance arises, e.g. the default of the counterparty. Only rarely does a derivative or quasi-derivative give rise to no adverse consequences in any circumstances. The test is merely that the increase in risk should not be significant, that is it should be both small and reasonable, or the risk should be remote.
(where they are held to cover property-linked liabilities) might not be appropriately selected in accordance with contractual and constructive liabilities as required by PRU 7.6.36 R and appropriate cover for those liabilities as required by PRU 4.2.57 R.
In assessing whether investment risk is reduced, the impact of a transaction on both the assets and liabilities should be considered. In particular, where the amount of liabilities depends upon the fluctuations in an index or other factor, investment risk is reduced where assets whose value fluctuates in the same way match those liabilities. In appropriate circumstances this may include:
An obligation to pay a monetary amount (whether or not falling in PRU 4.3.16 R) is covered if:
the firm holds admissible assets that are sufficient in value so that the firm reasonably believes that following reasonably foreseeable adverse variations (relying solely on cashflows from, or from realising, those assets) it could pay the monetary amount in the right currency when it falls due; or
the obligation to pay the monetary amount is offset by a liability. An obligation is offset by a liability where an increase in the amount of that obligation would be offset by a decrease in the amount of that liability; or
a provision at least equal to the value of the assets in (1) is implicitly or explicitly set up. A provision is implicitly set up to the extent that the obligation to pay the monetary amount is recognised under PRU 1.3 (Valuation) either by offset against an asset or as a separate liability. A provision is explicitly set up if it is in addition to an implicit provision.
Where a firm partially covers a derivative (or other contract falling within PRU 4.3.14 R (1) and PRU 4.3.14R (2)), the firm may split the derivative into a covered portion and an uncovered portion. The portion of the derivative that is covered (after taking into account the requirement to cover reasonably foreseeable adverse variations in PRU 4.3.17 R (1)) is an approved derivative, provided it also meets the requirements in PRU 4.3.5 R (1) and PRU 4.3.5 R (3); the uncovered portion is not an approved derivative.
The second purpose of cover is that it prevents excessive gearing in the investment portfolio by the use of options and their equivalent. A firm is required to cover all obligations under an admissible transaction including obligations that would arise only at the option of the firm, e.g. the liability to pay the exercise price under a bought option.
The third purpose of cover is that it protects against the risk that the firm may not be able to deliver assets (including money in any currency) of the right type when the obligation falls due under the transaction. An obligation to deliver assets is covered only if the firm holds those assets or has entered into an offsetting transaction that would deliver those assets when needed. An obligation to pay money is offset only if the firm holds cash in the right currency, its equivalent or assets that could reliably be converted into cash in the right currency.
Cover used for one transaction must not be used for cover in respect of another transaction or any other agreement to acquire, or dispose of, assets or to pay or repay money.
A transaction offsets an obligation to pay a monetary amount only if it provides for that monetary amount to be paid to the firm at or before the earliest date on which the obligation might fall due.
Assets that have been lent by the firm are not available for cover, unless:
PRU 4.3.30 R in effect allows borrowings to be used to bridge the gap between an obligation under a transaction that might fall due at one date and cash or its equivalent that would only become due at a later date. Borrowings may not be used to gear the investment portfolio.
Examples of cover by assets for the purposes of PRU 4.3.16 R:
a bought call option (or sold put option) on 1000 ordinary £1 shares (fully paid) of ABC plc is covered by cash (or its equivalent) which is sufficient in amount to meet the purchase price of the shares on exercise of the option;
a bought or sold contract for differences on short-dated sterling is covered by cash (or its equivalent), the value of which together at least match the notional principal of the contract. For example, a LIFFE short sterling contract, or a successive series of such contracts, is covered by £500,000; and
a sold future on the FT-SE 100 index is covered by holdings of equities, which satisfy the reasonable approximation test for cover in PRU 4.3.16 R (2) in relation to that future, and the values of which together at least match the current mark to market valuation of the future. For example, if the multiplier per full point is £10, and if the eventual obligation under the future is currently 2800, the valuation of the futures position is 2800 x £10 = £28,000.
A transaction is capable of valuation only if the firm, throughout the life of the transaction, will be able to value it with reasonable accuracy on a reliable basis reflecting an up-to-date mark-to-market value.
- (1) 1
the counterparty is an authorised person, an approved counterparty, a person registered as a broker-dealer with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America or a bank, or a branch of a bank, supervised, and authorised to deal in investments as principal, with respect to OTC derivatives by at least one of the following federal banking supervisory authorities of the United States of America:22
- (2) 1
is, at the time of the transfer or, in the case of a letter of credit, at the time of issue2, at least equal in value to the value of the securities transferred, or consideration provided, by the firm; and
is of adequate quality.
direct, explicit, unconditional and irrevocable; and
issued by an undertaking which is:
either an approved credit institution or a bank, or a branch of a bank, whether chartered by the federal government of the United States of America or a US state, that is supervised and examined by at least one of the following US federal banking supervisory authorities:
For the purposes of assessing adequate quality in PRU 4.3.38 R (3), reference should be made to the criteria for credit risk loss mitigation set out in PRU 3.2.16 R. The valuation rules in PRU 1.3 apply for the purpose of determining the value of both collateral received,2 and the securities transferred, by the firm2. In addition, where2 collateral takes the form of assets transferred, under the rules in PRU any such asset2 that is not an admissible asset (see PRU 2 Ann 1R)2 does not have a value.2
Collateral continues to be adequate only if its value is at all times at least equal to the value of the securities transferred by the firm. This will be satisfied in respect of collateral where the validity of the collateral or the firm's interest in the collateral2 is about to expire or has expired if2 sufficient collateral will again be transferred or issued2 at the latest by the close of business on the day of expiry.22