GCD North America Conference: Key Takeaways

On 9th-10th September, in light of the ongoing pandemic, GCD held its annual North American Conference in a digital format for the first time. Members from across the banking industry came together to discuss the pressing credit risk issues that banks across North America are facing. Featuring Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)’s Hal Schroeder and the American Bankers Association’s Michael Gullette, Rob Strand, and Freddy Mitchell, the conference represented Global Credit Data’s commitment to providing valuable and timely content to its members.

The Shifting Floor of PD Downgrades

The exploration of GCD’s COVID-19 Crisis Benchmarking Initiative with GCD’s Hale Tatar highlighted one of the main challenges’ banks are facing when trying to analyse the impact of COVID-19: the volatile state of client credit quality.

With banks keen to identify high-risk sectors impacted by the pandemic as soon as possible, one solution is to benchmark obligor level PD grades with other banks.  GCD’s member banks are working collaboratively with the help of GCD to regularly pool data, including their most recent credit ratings for key named borrowers. This benchmarking of their own risk assessments enables participating banks to speed up their credit review cycles, to monitoring borrowers, to better predict forbearance measures, and to better model credit risk provisions.

CECL and Monitoring the Way Forward

Led by the FASB’s Hal Schroeder, this insightful discussion around changes to and the future of the Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) methodology was an important topic discussed at the 2020 North American Online Event. The session explored some of the hurdles involved in implementing CECL.  Chief amongst them is the implementation of a new framework is almost always highly labour-intensive – and CECL is no exception. Secondly, the focus on identifying risks ahead of time will lead to higher provisions for banks, restricting their lending capacity.

In the context of COVID-19 these problems take on a further dimension. A global pandemic makes lending both more important and yet more of a risk. This prompted attendees to ask: should some flexibility be incorporated into the CECL framework, or alternatively, into its implementation?

Understanding Recovery Trends During a Crisis

On day two of the conference, Nunzia Rainone, author of GCD’s LGD Downturn study, discussed the impact of downturns on loss given default (LGD). Importantly, key LGD drivers are valid in crisis, as well as non-crisis, times. Specifically, LGD is higher when recoveries are collected during a downturn, and lower when recoveries are collected during in times of non-crisis. This information was welcomed by credit risk team members in attendance, providing crucial insight as they adjust their risk models and workout strategies.

GCD also unveiled its one-of-a-kind heat map, which shows precisely how loans defaulting during downturns experience lower workout outcomes and longer negative tail effects on their recoveries. Data covered includes quarterly outcomes from the 2001 technology crisis and the 2008 global financial crisis until the current period. 



Download the session slides Watch the extended video (day 1) Watch the extended video (day 2)


For more information, please contact nate.royal@globalcreditdata.org