BASEL IV & Real Estate Exposures 

May 2024
3 min read

The Basel IV reforms, effective January 1, 2025, introduce significant changes to credit risk management.

The Basel IV reforms published in 2017 will enter into force on January 1, 2025, with a phase-in period of 5 years. These are probably the most important reforms banks will go through after the introduction of Basel II. The reforms introduce changes in many areas. In the area of credit risk, the key elements of the banking package include the revision of the standardized approach (SA), and the introduction of the output floor. 

In this article, we will analyse in detail the recent updates made to real estate exposures and their impact on capital requirements and internal processes, with a particular focus on collateral valuation methods. 

Real Estate Exposures 

Lending for house purchases is an important business for banks. More than one-third of bank loans in the EU are collateralised with residential immovable property. The Basel IV reforms introduce a more risk-sensitive framework, featuring a more granular classification system. 

Standardized Approach 

The new reforms aim for banks to diminish the advantages gained from using the Internal Ratings-Based (IRB) model. All financial institutions that calculate capital requirements with the IRB approach are now required to concurrently use the standardized approach. Under the Standardized Approach, financial institutions have the option to choose from two methods for assigning risk weights: the whole-loan approach and the split-loan approach. 

Collateral Valuation  

A significant change introduced by the reforms concerns collateral valuation. Previously, the framework allowed banks to determine the value of their real estate collateral based on either the market value (MV) concept or the mortgage lending value (MLV) concept. The revised framework no longer differentiates between these two concepts and introduces new requirements for valuing real estate for lending purposes by establishing a new definition of value. This aims to mitigate the impact of cyclical effects on the valuation of property securing a loan and to maintain more stable capital requirements for mortgages. Implementing an independent valuation that adheres to prudent and conservative criteria can be challenging and may result in significant and disruptive changes in valuation practices.  


To reduce the impact of cyclical effects on the valuation of property securing a loan and to keep capital requirements for mortgages more stable, the regulator has capped the valuation of the property, so that it cannot for any reason be higher than the one at origination, unless modifications to that property unequivocally increase its value. Regulators have high expectations for accounting for environmental and climate risks, which can influence property valuations in two ways. On the one hand, these risks can trigger a decrease in property value. On the other hand, they can enhance value, as modifications that improve a property's energy performance or resilience to physical risks - such as protection and adaptation measures for buildings and housing units - may be considered value-increasing factors. 

Where Zanders can help 

Based on our experience, we specialize in assisting financial institutions with various aspects of Basel IV reforms, including addressing challenges such as limited data availability, implementing new modelling approaches, and providing guidance on interpreting regulatory requirements.  

For further information, please contact Marco Zamboni. 


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