What Is Economic Capital ? Understanding & Examples


  • Economic capital is the number of capital that an organization requires to persist any risks that it carries. It’s almost a way of estimating risk.
  • Financial services corporations measure economic capital internally.
  • Economic capital should not be stunned with regulatory capital (also known as a capital requirement).

What Is Economic Capital?

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Economic capital is a calculation of risk in periods of capital. More especially, it’s the amount of capital that an organization or usually in financial services requires to ensure that it keeps up solvent provided its threat profile.

Economic capital is measured internally by the organization( companies ), sometimes using proprietary types. The resulting number is also the number of capital that the company should have to help with any risks that it holds.

Understanding Economic Capital

Economic capital is manipulated by financial services corporations, especially banks and insurance companies. It is similarly used for scaling and estimating the demand and operational threats of a financial services company.

Economic capital takes the inherent risk of the economic environment, as rejected to regulatory and accounting rules and regulations. Because of particularly a fact, it is supposed as giving an extra accurate indication of the solvency of a financial service company.

Calculating economic capital involves valuing the risk in a corporation and the number of capital required to increase that risk in an adverse scenario. The analyses are usually based on the financial institution’s financial stability and usual losses.

Financial stability includes the prospect of default for a company. It can usually be exemplified in the form of a credit mark, which is an estimation of the creditworthiness of people or entities.

All social companies are provided with a credit mark that is normally allocated by the three major credit mark agencies:

  • Moody’s
  • Standard & Poor’s (S&P)
  • Fitch

Financial courage considers the possibility of a company not defaulting over a specific period. This chance is taken into the belief level in statistics analyses.

The regular loss is the usual loss over a specific period. Usual losses are the prices of doing business and different unusual losses. For example, a bank may have usual losses from borrowers defaulting on their loans. An insurance business may have required losses happening from stakes on various rules.

Economic capital conditions in the risk and reward profiles to support inform opinions. For example, a calculation of economic capital may inform the findings of a bank to follow certain company lines.

If economic capital reveals that a bank has strong economic capital, then the management team can decide that the bank could afford to make riskier loans and pursue more volatile business operations such as capital markets operations (investment banking, sales and trading, etc.).

On the other hand, if a bank discovers that its economic capital is weak, the management team may decide that the bank should make safer loans and pursue less volatile business operations such as retail banking or wealth management business lines.

Few performances estimate that aspect in economic capital includes:

  • Economic Value Added (EVA)
  • Repay on Risk-Adjusted Capital (RORAC)
  • Repay on Risk-Weighted Assets (RWA)

Management evaluates company lines that can optimize the estimates and point capital allowance toward those companies.

Uniqueness Financial Services Companies

Economic capital is valuable for financial services corporations because of the different business models that these organisations employ.

Largely companies will sell a stock and service in trade for money and revenues. Still, financial corporations will use the money itself and utilise the timing and allowance of money flow to generate extra profits.

For example, banks adopt different company types in which their core operations are not to generate or sell a good or service. Rather, they take cash from people or additional entities in the form of assurances.

The cash is protected and earns an interest rate to compensate the depositors for depositing their cash. Then, the bank will lend out the cash to entities and will charge an increased interest rate and benefit off of the spread between the rate paid to depositors and the price charged to borrowers.

Especially a business model deals with different risks, as well. The chance that various depositors may wish to withdraw their cash all at once is important. It is mitigated by securing that the bank keeps on to a certain number of capital to ensure its solvency and be eligible to pay back depositors.

Banks deal with ordinary risks from regular defaults that can happen, which result in a low effect on the all-around operations. Still, the bank must also be ready for catastrophic losses and events, extremely as recessions and demand crashes. Such scenes are analysed when internally forecasting economic capital.

Economics Capital In Social Science

In social science, economic capital is differentiated about different categories of capital that may not need to reflect a financial or exchange cost. These forms of capital involve natural capital, cultural capital and social capital; the recent two represent a category of power or status that someone can attain in a capitalist community via formal education or through civil ties. Non-economic forms of equity have been variously talked about most famously by sociologist Pierre Bourdieu.


Typically, Economic Capital is measured by determining the number of capital that the firm requires to confirm that its real balance sheet keeps up solvent over a specific period with a pre-specified probability. Accordingly, economic capital is often estimated as a value at risk. The balance sheet, in this issue, would be qualified to show market value (rather than book value) of assets and liabilities.

The theory of economic capital differs from regulatory equity in the understanding that regulatory capital is the mandatory capital the regulators need to be pursued while economic capital is the best measure of needed capital that financial institutions use internally to arrange their own risk and to allocate the cost of keeping regulatory capital among unique units within the company.

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