This option addresses currencies for which there are insufficient Level 1 assets, as determined by reference to the qualifying principles and criteria, but where there are sufficient Level 2A assets. In this case, supervisors may choose to allow banks that evidence a shortfall of HQLA in the domestic currency (to match the currency of the liquidity risk incurred) to hold additional Level 2A assets in the stock. These additional Level 2A assets would be subject to a minimum haircut of 20%, ie 5% higher than the 15% haircut applicable to Level 2A assets that are included in the 40% cap. The higher haircut is used to cover any additional price and market liquidity risks arising from increased holdings of Level 2A assets beyond the 40% cap, and to provide a disincentive for banks to use this option based on yield considerations.(30) Supervisors have the obligation to conduct an analysis to assess whether the additional haircut is sufficient for Level 2A assets in their markets, and should increase the haircut if this is warranted to achieve the purpose for which it is intended. Supervisors should explain and justify the outcome of the analysis (including the level of increase in the haircut, if applicable) during the independent peer review assessment process. Any Level 2B assets held by the bank would remain subject to the cap of 15%, regardless of the amount of other Level 2 assets held.
(30) For example, a situation to avoid is that the opportunity cost of holding a portfolio that benefits from this option would be lower than the opportunity cost of holding a theoretical compliant portfolio of Level 1 and Level 2 assets, after adjusting for any material differences in credit risk.