Economic Loan Loss Provision and Expected Loss

  • Stefan Hlawatsch
  • Sebastian Ostrowski
Schlagworte: loan loss provision, expected loss, IAS, Basel II, JEL: G18, G21, M41


The intention of a loss provision is the anticipation of credit's expected losses by adjusting the book values of the credits. Furthermore, this loan loss provision has to be compared to the expected loss according to Basel II and if necessary, equity has to be adjusted. This however assumes that the loan loss provision and the expected loss are comparable, which is only valid conditionally in current loan loss provisioning methods according to IAS. The provisioning and accounting model developed in this paper overcomes the before mentioned shortcomings and is consistent with an economic rationale of expected losses. We introduce a de¯nition of expected loss referring to the whole maturity of the loan and show that this measure can be reasonably compared with loan loss provisions. Additionally, this model is based on a close-to-market valuation of the loan. Suggestions for changes in current accounting and capital requirement rules are provided.