Can Tier 2 instruments include terms according to which coupons would be mandatorily deferred or cancelled if coupons were not paid on Additional Tier 1 instruments?
Some existing Tier 2 instruments include such terms. Institutions may therefore raise the issue of consistent treatment. In addition, coupons deferral for Tier 2 instruments may become more common for ratings purposes as certain rating agencies may give more equity credit for Tier 2 instruments with coupons deferral.
If Tier 2 instruments include such terms, this would undermine coupon flexibility on Additional Tier 1 instruments (as a decision to cancel Additional Tier 1 coupons would automatically lead to the deferral or cancellation of coupons on Tier 2 instruments). The criterion referred to in Article 52 (1) (l) (v) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 (CRR), which requires that "the cancellation of distributions imposes no restrictions on the institution" would then not be met by outstanding Additional Tier 1 instruments of the institution. Those instruments would then have to be disqualified from regulatory Tier 1 capital, although Tier 2 instruments including the above mentioned terms would themselves be eligible as regulatory Tier 2 capital.
Update 26.03.2021: This Q&A has been reviewed in the light of the changes introduced to Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 (CRR) and continues to be relevant.