Modelling operational risk using skew t-copulas and Bayesian inference
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Garzon Rozo, Betty Johanna
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Operational risk losses are heavy tailed and are likely to be asymmetric and extremely dependent among business lines/event types. The analysis of dependence via copula models has been focussed on the bivariate case mainly. In the vast majority of instances symmetric elliptical copulas are employed to model dependence for severities. This thesis proposes a new methodology to assess, in a multivariate way, the asymmetry and extreme dependence between severities, and to calculate the capital for operational risk. This methodology simultaneously uses (i) several parametric distributions and an alternative mixture distribution (the Lognormal for the body of losses and the generalised Pareto Distribution for the tail) using a technique from extreme value theory, (ii) the multivariate skew t-copula applied for the first time across severities and (iii) Bayesian theory. The former to model severities, I test simultaneously several parametric distributions and the mixture distribution for each business line. This procedure enables me to achieve multiple combinations of the severity distribution and to find which fits most closely. The second to effectively model asymmetry and extreme dependence in high dimensions. The third to estimate the copula model, given the high multivariate component (i.e. eight business lines and seven event types) and the incorporation of mixture distributions it is highly difficult to implement maximum likelihood. Therefore, I use a Bayesian inference framework and Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation to evaluate the posterior distribution to estimate and make inferences of the parameters of the skew t-copula model. The research analyses an updated operational loss data set, SAS® Operational Risk Global Data (SAS OpRisk Global Data), to model operational risk at international financial institutions. I then evaluate the impact of this multivariate, asymmetric and extreme dependence on estimating the total regulatory capital, among other established multivariate copulas. My empirical findings are consistent with other studies reporting thin and medium-tailed loss distributions. My approach substantially outperforms symmetric elliptical copulas, demonstrating that modelling dependence via the skew t-copula provides a more efficient allocation of capital charges of up to 56% smaller than that indicated by the standard Basel model.