Roadmap for unwinding derivatives


| 14-7-2017 | Roger Boxman |

Banks offer proposals to smaller companies and housing associations to unwind interest rate swaps. The benefit for the banks is that this will reduce their risk weighted assets. Whether this offer is attractive or not depends on several issues.


A short-list of advantages of unwinding to keep in mind is found below:

  • The advantage of skipping break clauses and uncertain margin call events and therefore a reduction of liquidity risk.
  • Creating a potential current tax loss on the unwinding fee which can be possibly offset in the near future.
  • Opportunity to restructure the funding structure and refinance against lower interest rates.
  • Optimise the redemption schedule and therefore to create lower interest rate risk in the loan portfolio.
  • Reduce costs of monitoring and supervision.
  • No hedge accounting issues with unexpected profit and loss accounting in combination with latent taxes.

Off course the decision to unwind or not depends highly on the amount of the fee and the specific expectations of the organisation. No situation will be the same, an exact blueprint simply does not exist. In a substantial number of situations, the ‘do nothing option’ will be the best.

Roger Boxman – Senior Advisor Internal Control

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