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9Provisions for possible loan losses

We provide for the particular credit risks in lending by forming single and portfolio loan loss provisions, with loans comprising exposure of more than €1m seen as significant.

Specific loan loss provisions are formed to cover the existing credit-standing risks relating to these exposures. Loan loss provisions have to be formed for a loan if it is probable on the basis of observable criteria that not all the interest payments and capital repayments can be made as agreed. The level of the loan loss provision corresponds to the difference between the book value of the loan less the present value of the expected future cash flow.

In addition, we cover credit risks by means of portfolio loan loss provisions. The level of the portfolio loan loss provisions is determined using parameters derived from Basel II (probability of default, loss given default). The loan loss provisions are deducted from the relevant asset items on the balance sheet, provided they relate to claims on the balance sheet. The provisions for possible loan losses for offbalance sheet business (loan commitments) are shown as provisions for lending risks.

Uncertainties pertaining to estimates arise with regard to the use of Basel II parameters. The parameters are derived from empirical values for corresponding receivables and can therefore be subject to fluctuations due to changes in framework conditions, such as developments in the macroeconomy or labour market data. These higher probabilities of default per exposure in particular can lead to an increase in provisions for possible loan losses for both utilised and unutilised loan commitments. Higher conversion factors regarding open lines of credit would only lead to an increase in the provisions for lending risks.

Unrecoverable amounts are written down utilising any existing loan loss provisions. Income on written-down receivables is recognised in the income statement under provisions for possible loan losses.