In the wake of the financial crisis of 2007–2009, as various banking policymakers revisit loan loss provisioning rules, the Spanish approach of dynamic provisioning has garnered attention as a potential alternative to the current incurred loss approach. We review the current approach to loan loss reserves in the United States, focusing on how loan loss reserves relate to bank solvency and why the current accounting approach may have procyclical effects. We present a conceptual framework to compare loan loss provisioning under the incurred loss framework and dynamic provisioning. Then we simulate dynamic provisioning with U.S. data to present an empirical comparison.
Amanda L. Kramer
Order single copies or subscribe to Economic Quarterly and other publications from the Federal Reserve System.