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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Fed announces pilot climate scenario analysis for large banks

Bank Regulatory Federal Issues Climate-Related Financial Risks Federal Reserve

On September 29, the Federal Reserve Board announced that six of the nation’s largest banks will participate in a pilot climate scenario analysis exercise intended to enhance the ability of supervisors and firms to measure and manage climate-related financial risks. The Fed noted that the scenario analysis, in which the resilience of banks is assessed under different hypothetical climate scenarios, is an emerging tool for assessing climate-related financial risks. The Fed further noted that the process is exploratory in nature and that “there will be no capital or supervisory implications from the pilot.” Over the course of the exercise, the participating banks will analyze the impacts of hypothetical climate scenarios on specific portfolios and business strategies. The climate analysis will be separate and distinct from bank stress tests, which are designed to assess whether large banks have enough capital to continue lending to households and businesses during a severe recession. The Fed noted that the climate scenario analysis "can assist firms and supervisors in understanding how climate-related financial risks may manifest and differ from historical experience.”