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Capital management of financial institutions and the related tax issues


Against the background of the first anniversary of the global financial crisis, the leaders of the Group of 20 countries and the European Union met in September 2009 and agreed on basic principles for a set of reforms to strengthen the international financial regulatory system. These principles are now known as Basel III. The Basel III reforms cover the capital, liquidity and funding positions of banks. This article is focused on capital requirements. The article focuses on bank capital and bank capital management as the principles are similar for insurers, although relevant issues for insurers are also mentioned.

The article opens with an introduction to bank and insurance capital and the Basel III capital reforms. The article then discusses Tier 1 and Tier 2 securities, and the interaction of bank capital with ratings capital. The remainder of the article then examines tax issues for bank issuers, insurance issuers and investors.

Author profiles

Anthony Frost CTA
Photo of author, Tony FROST Tony Frost, CTA, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills’ Managing Director, is a tax lawyer and Chartered Accountant, with a career spanning more than three decades. During this time, he has advised clients on a wide range of matters, including financial transactions, ATO audits and disputes, and the tax aspects of mergers, acquisitions and transfer pricing. Tony has been closely involved in many successful and unsuccessful tax reform projects over the last 30 years or so, including in his role as a key adviser to the Australian Banking Association, and also as an occasional adviser/consultant to the Treasury, ATO and the Board of Taxation. Before joining Greenwoods in 2003, Tony was a partner in a global chartered accounting firm and held a senior position in a leading Australian bank. Tony is a prolific author of tax articles and seminar papers and is regularly invited to speak at industry events and conferences. He spent 15 years as a lecturer in the Master of Laws program at the University of Sydney. Tony is a Chartered Tax Adviser of The Tax Institute, a member of the Law Society of NSW and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and a member of the International Fiscal Association. - Current at 01 November 2018
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Tricia Ho-Hudson
Tricia is the Head of Capital & Regulatory Strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Tricia’s team is responsible for management of the capital of the Commonwealth Bank and its subsidiaries (approximately $35 billion), as well as strategic implementation of financial regulatory reform generally. The team is also responsible for execution of all capital transactions. Tricia is a member of the Tax and Capital Management Working Group coordinated by the Australian Bankers Association. - Current at 13 February 2013
Julian Pinson FTI
Julian is a Partner at Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills Pty Limited. Julian advises on a wide range of tax matters, with a focus on banking and financial services, property, M&A and funds management. Julian has particular expertise in cross-border finance, TOFA, corporate restructures, debt and equity raisings and M&A. - Current at 22 November 2021
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