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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2222-3436
Print version ISSN 1015-8812

S. Afr. j. econ. manag. sci. vol.11 n.1 Pretoria Apr. 2008




Calculating operational value-at-risk (OpVaR) in a retail bank



Ja'nel EsterhuysenI; Paul StygerII; Gary van VuurenIII

IInvestec Bank Ltd and School of Economics, North West University
IISchool of Economics, North-West University
IIIFinancial Institutions, Fitch Ratings and School of Economics, North West University




The management of operational value-at-risk (OpVaR) in financial institutions is presented by means of a novel, robust calculation technique and the influence of this value on the capital held by a bank for operational risk. A clear distinction between economic and regulatory capital is made, as well as the way OpVaR models may be used to calculate both types of capital. Under the Advanced Measurement Approach (AMA), banks may employ OpVaR models to calculate regulatory capital; this article therefore illustrates the differences in regulatory capital when using the AMA and the Standardised Approach (SA), by means of an example. Economic capital is found to converge with regulatory capital using the AMA, but not if the SA is used.

JEL: G21, C15, 16



“Full text available only in PDF format”




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