Asset And Liability Management Essay Online For Free

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In banking, asset and liability management (ALM) is used to manage the risks that arise due to mismatches between the assets and liabilities (debts and assets) of the bank. Banks face several risks like the liquidity risk, market risk, interest rate risk, credit risk and operational risk. Asset Liability management (ALM) is a strategic management tool to manage interest rate risk and liquidity risk faced by banks, other financial services companies and corporations.

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Banks manage the risks of Asset liability mismatch by matching the assets and liabilities according to the maturity pattern or the matching the duration, by hedging and by securitization. Asset and liability management remain high-priority areas for bank regulators, with an emphasis on management of market risk, liquidity risk, and credit risk. Asset/liability managers face the challenge of keeping pace with industry changes as new areas of risk are identified and new tools and models are developed to help measure and manage risk. In other words Asset-Liability Management (ALM) can be known as a risk management technique designed to earn an adequate return while maintaining a comfortable surplus of assets beyond liabilities. It takes into consideration interest rates, earning power, and degree of willingness to take on debt and hence is also known as Surplus Management. But in the last decade the meaning of asset liability management has evolved. It is now used in many different ways under different contexts. ALM, which was actually pioneered by financial institutions and banks, are now widely being used in industries too. The Society of Actuaries Task Force on ALM Principles, Canada, offers the following definition for ALM: “Asset Liability Management is the on-going process of formulating, implementing, monitoring, and revising strategies related to assets and liabilities in an attempt to achieve financial objectives for a given set of risk tolerances and constraints.

Basis of Asset-Liability Management

Traditionally, banks and insurance companies used accrual system of accounting for all their assets and liabilities. They would take on liabilities – such as deposits, life insurance policies or annuities. They would then invest the proceeds from these liabilities in assets such as loans, bonds or real estate. All these assets and liabilities were held at book value. Doing so disguised possible risks arising from how the assets and liabilities were structured. Consider a bank that borrows 1 Crore (100 Lakhs) at 6 % for a year and lends the same money at 7 % to a highly rated borrower for 5 years. The net transaction appears profitable the bank is earning a 100 basis point spread but it entails considerable risk. At the end of a year, the bank will have to find new financing for the loan, which will have 4 more years before it matures.

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