C. Myblog

Interest Rate Risk Modeling—Do The Results Make Sense?

October 19, 2012
Many credit unions are increasing the number of “What-Ifs” they run. It is important that decision-makers do a gut check on the results being presented.  It is also important to understand that various modeling methodologies may need to be used to ensure appropriate evaluation of the decision.
Take, for instance, a decision to expand auto lending into lower credit tiers.  This decision may prove beneficial to help preserve shrinking margins.  However, taking this potential scenario and running it through a traditional net interest income simulation and NEV will show there is virtually no risk in making this type of decision, assuming the loans are priced near the effective discount rate.
Net interest income and NEV will not address the credit risk component.  In this case, the question that must be answered is, “how will earnings and net worth be impacted by the shift in assets?”  In this example, provision expense should also be adjusted to represent the risk of the shift in assets.  If applicable, collections, legal and other expenses should also be adjusted, to capture the economic reality of increasing credit risk.
Ultimately, any decision that could result in a material change to a credit union’s financial structure should be simulated and all potential financial impacts should be considered, including net operating expenses.  The results should be shared with decision-makers and all should be asking “does this make sense?” and “is there any other impact not captured by the modeling?” to ensure that modeling results do not lead decision-makers astray.

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