Supervision beyond the business cycle: A framework for long-term financial supervision

Financial supervisory mandates are interpreted to ensure financial stability ‘over the business cycle’ (three to five years). New risks are challenging this paradigm, as they manifest themselves both over longer time horizons and as secular, one-directional shocks. We have designed this exploratory conceptual project to identify potential mechanisms and levers financial supervisors can mobilise in order to ‘supervise the long-term’ and reframe their mandate to cover more long-term risks.

Current financial policy and supervisory analysis falls into two categories. In the first category, financial policy analysis seeks to identify potential levers within the mandate to supervise risks over the business cycle (e.g., capital requirements) or support societal goals. The second category involves the development of tools to analyse the financial materiality of long-term risks (e.g., climate scenario analysis). Missing within this paradigm is the ‘adapter’ that allows for the integration of the second category of analysis into mainstream supervisory frameworks. As a result, stress tests looking out to 2030 are intellectually satisfying, but remain largely theoretical exercises.

We seek to begin to fill this gap by suggesting a framework for what long-term financial supervision could look like that would allow for the integration of these long-term risk assessments, as well as the steering of policy levers beyond business cycle risk management. This requires a review of both existing and potential new policy instruments, as well as more general questions over how such policy could work (including related to the arbitrage between short-term and long-term risks).

The primary output of our research will be a discussion paper focused on two central questions:

  • What are the instruments to enhance the supervision of long-term risks?
  • How might governance and mandates need to change to support the supervision of long-term risks?