Glossaries of Terms

Financial glossary


Allowance for credit losses

An allowance set up in the financial statements sufficient to absorb both specifically identified and inherent credit-related losses in CIBC's portfolio of loans, acceptances, letters of credit and guarantees. This allowance can be "collective" - assessed by reviewing a portfolio of loans with similar characteristics - or "individual" - assessed by reviewing the characteristics of an individual exposure.

Amortized cost

The amount at which a financial asset or financial liability is measured at initial recognition minus repayments, plus or minus any unamortized origination date premiums or discounts, plus or minus any basis adjustments resulting from a fair value hedge, and minus any reduction (directly or through the use of an allowance account) for impairment or uncollectability. The amount of a financial asset or liability measured at initial recognition is the cost of the financial asset or liability including capitalized transaction costs and deferred fees.

Assets under administration (AUA)

Assets administered by CIBC that are beneficially owned by clients and are, therefore, not reported on the consolidated balance sheet. Services provided by CIBC are of an administrative nature, such as safekeeping of securities, collection of investment income, and the settlement of purchase and sale transactions. Assets under administration also include actively managed client assets that are classified as assets under management.

Assets under management (AUM)

Assets managed by CIBC that are beneficially owned by clients and are, therefore, not reported on the consolidated balance sheet. The service provided in respect of these assets is discretionary portfolio management on behalf of the clients. AUM amounts are included in the amounts reported under AUA.

Average interest-earning assets

Average interest-earning assets include interest-bearing deposits with banks, securities, securities borrowed or purchased under resale agreements, and loans net of allowances.


Basis point

One-hundredth of a percentage point (0.01%).



Assets pledged as security for a loan or other obligation and forfeited if the obligation is not paid. Collateral can be cash, securities or other assets.

Collateralized debt obligation (CDO)

Securitization of any combination of corporate debt, ABS, MBS or tranches of other CDOs to form a pool of diverse assets that are tranched into securities that offer varying degrees of risk and return to meet investor demand.

Collateralized loan obligation (CLO)

Securitizations of diversified portfolios of corporate debt obligations and/or ABS that are tranched into securities that offer varying degrees of risk and return to meet investor demand.

Credit derivatives

A category of financial instruments that allow one party (the beneficiary) to separate and transfer the credit risk of nonpayment or partial payment to another party (the guarantor).

Credit valuation adjustment (CVA)

Derivative contracts are initially marked to market without reference to credit quality of either counterparty to the contract. The CVA is the adjustment, positive or negative, required to this mark to reflect the expected net credit risk exposure due to failure by either party to perform its obligations under the derivative contract. The calculation of the CVA generally reflects the impact of netting, centralized clearing and collateral arrangements in place between the counterparties.

Current replacement cost

The estimated cost of replacing an asset at the present time according to its current worth.



A financial contract that derives its value from the performance of another object, such as an asset, index or interest rate.

Dividend payout ratio

Common dividends paid as a percentage of net income after preferred share dividends and premium on redemptions.

Dividend yield

Dividends per common share divided by the closing common share price.


Effective interest rate method

A method of calculating the amortized cost of a financial asset or financial liability and of allocating the interest income or interest expense over the relevant period. The effective interest rate is the rate that exactly discounts estimated future cash payments or receipts through the expected life of the financial instrument or, when appropriate, a shorter period, to the net carrying amount of the financial asset or financial liability.

Efficiency ratio

Non-interest expenses as a percentage of total revenue (net interest income and non-interest income). Efficiency ratio is used as a measure of productivity.


Fair value

Fair value is defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability at the measurement date in an orderly arm's length transaction between knowledgeable and willing market participants motivated by normal business considerations.

Forward contracts

A non-standardized contract to buy or sell a specified asset at a specified price and specified date in the future.

Forward rate agreement

An over-the-counter forward contract that determines an interest rate to be paid or received commencing on a specified date in the future for a specified period.

Full-time equivalent employees

Full-time equivalent employees is a measure that normalizes the number of full-time and part-time employees, base plus commissioned employees, and 100% commissioned employees into equivalent full-time units based on actual hours of paid work during a given period.


A standardized contract to buy or sell a specified commodity, currency or financial instrument of standardized quantity and quality at a specific price and date in the future. Futures contracts are traded on an exchange.


Guarantees and standby letters of credit

Primarily represent CIBC's obligation, subject to certain conditions, to make payments to third parties on behalf of clients, if these clients cannot make those payments, or are unable to meet other specified contractual obligations.



A transaction intended to offset potential losses/gains that may be incurred in a related transaction.


Loan loss ratio

Under IFRS, the ratio is calculated as the provision for credit losses on impaired loans to average loans and acceptances, net of allowance for credit losses. The provision for credit losses on impaired loans includes provision for: individual allowance; collective allowance on personal loans, scored small business loans and mortgages that are greater than 90 days delinquent, and net card write-offs. Under the Canadian GAAP (previous GAAP), the ratio was calculated as the specific provision for credit losses, including losses on securitized portfolio, to the total loans and acceptances net of allowance for credit losses (on a managed basis).



The market value at which two parties are willing to exchange an asset. Values are obtained from exchanges for actively traded assets or determined from prices of similar assets.


Net interest income

The difference between interest earned on assets (such as loans and securities) and interest incurred on liabilities (such as deposits and subordinated indebtedness).

Net interest margin

Net interest income as a percentage of average assets.

Normal course issuer bid

Involves a listed company buying its own shares through a stock exchange or other published market, from time to time, and is subject to the various rules of the exchanges and securities commissions.

Notional amount

Nominal or face amount of a financial contract used for the calculation of payments made on that contract.


Off-balance sheet financial instruments

A financial contract that is based mainly on a notional amount and represents a contingent liability of an institution. Such instruments include credit-related arrangements.

Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI)

OSFI supervises and regulates all banks, all federally incorporated or registered trust and loan companies, insurance companies, cooperative credit associations, fraternal benefit societies and federal pension plans in Canada.


A financial contract under which the writer (seller) confers the right, but not the obligation, to the purchaser to either buy (call option) or sell (put option) a specified amount of underlying asset or instrument at a specified price either at or by a specified date.


Provision for credit losses

An amount charged or credited to income so as to bring the allowance for credit losses to a level that is sufficient to cover specifically identified and inherent credit-related losses in CIBC's portfolio of loans, acceptances, letters of credit, and guarantees.


Return on average assets or average interest-earning assets

Net income expressed as a percentage of average assets or average interest-earning assets.

Return on equity (ROE)

Net income attributable to common shareholders expressed as a percentage of average common shareholders' equity.


Securities borrowed

Securities are typically borrowed to cover short positions. Borrowing requires the pledging of collateral by the borrower to the lender. The collateral may be cash or a highly rated security.

Securities lent

Securities are typically lent to a borrower to cover their short positions. Borrowing requires the pledging of collateral by the borrower to the lender. The collateral provided may be cash or a highly rated security.

Securities purchased under resale agreements

A transaction where a security is purchased by the buyer and, at the same time, the buyer commits to resell the security to the original seller at a specific price and date in the future.

Securities sold short

A transaction in which the seller sells securities it does not own. Initially the seller typically borrows the securities in order to deliver them to the purchaser. At a later date, the seller buys identical securities in the market to replace the borrowed securities.

Securities sold under repurchase agreements

A transaction where a security is sold by the seller and, at the same time, the seller commits to repurchase the security from the original purchaser at a specific price and date in the future.

Special purpose entities (SPE)

An entity created for a single, well-defined and narrow purpose.

Swap contracts

A financial contract in which counterparties exchange a series of cash flows based on a specified notional amount over a specified period.


Taxable equivalent basis (TEB)

Increases tax-exempt income to make it directly comparable to taxable income sources when comparing either total revenue or net interest income. There is an equivalent offsetting adjustment to the income tax provision.

Total shareholder return

The total return earned on an investment in CIBC's common shares. The return measures the change in shareholder value, assuming dividends are reinvested in additional shares.

Risk and capital glossary


Advanced internal ratings-based (AIRB) approach for credit risk

Internal models based on historical experience of key risk assumptions are used to compute the capital requirements.

Advanced measurement approach (AMA) for operational risk

A risk-sensitive approach to calculating the capital charge for operational risk based on internal risk measurement models, using a combination of quantitative and qualitative risk measurement techniques.

Asset/liability management (ALM)

The practice of managing the risks that arise from the mismatches between the assets and liabilities, mainly in the non-trading areas of the bank. Techniques are used to manage the relative duration of CIBC's assets (such as loans) and liabilities (such as deposits), in order to minimize the adverse impact of changes in interest rates.

Assets-to-capital multiple

Total assets plus specified off-balance sheet items divided by total regulatory capital.


Bank exposures

All direct credit risk exposures to deposit-taking institutions and regulated securities firms, and exposures guaranteed by those entities.

Business and government portfolio

A category of exposures that includes lending to businesses and governments, where the primary basis of adjudication relies on the determination and assignment of an appropriate risk rating, that reflects the credit risk of the exposure.


Common Equity Tier 1, Tier 1 and total capital ratios

Common Equity Tier 1, Tier 1 and total regulatory capital, divided by RWA, in accordance with guidelines issued by OSFI which are based on Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) standards.

Corporate exposures

All direct credit risk exposures to corporations, partnerships and proprietorships, and exposures guaranteed by those entities.

Credit risk

Risk of financial loss due to a borrower or counterparty failing to meet its obligations in accordance with agreed terms.


Drawn exposure

The amount of credit risk exposure resulting from loans already advanced to the customer.


Economic capital

Economic capital provides a framework to evaluate the returns of each SBU, commensurate with risk assumed. Economic capital is a non-GAAP risk measure based upon an estimate of equity capital required by the businesses to absorb unexpected losses consistent with our targeted risk rating over a one-year horizon. Economic capital is comprised primarily of credit, market, operational and strategic risk capital.

Economic profit

Economic profit is a non-GAAP risk-adjusted performance measure used for measuring economic value added. It is calculated as earnings of each business less a charge for the cost of capital.

Exposure at default (EAD)

An estimate of the amount of exposure to a customer at the event of, and at the time of, default.


Incremental risk charge (IRC)

A capital charge applied in addition to market risk capital specifically to cover default and migration risk in unsecuritized credit assets of varying liquidity held in the trading book.

Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP)

A framework and process designed to provide a comprehensive view on capital adequacy, as defined by Pillar II of the Basel Accord, wherein we identify and measure our risks on an ongoing basis in order to ensure that the capital available is sufficient to cover all risks across CIBC.

Internal models approach (IMA) for market risk

Models, which have been developed by CIBC and approved by the OSFI, for the measurement of risk and regulatory capital in the trading portfolio for general market risk, debt specific risk, and equity specific risk.

Internal ratings based approach for securitization exposures

The computation of capital charge is based on risk weights that are mapped from internal ratings.


Liquidity risk

Risk of having insufficient cash resources to meet financial obligations as they fall due, in their full amount and stipulated currencies, without raising funds at adverse rates or selling assets on a forced basis.

Loss given default (LGD)

An estimate of the amount of exposure to a customer that will not be recovered following a default by that customer, expressed as a percentage of the exposure at default.


Market risk

The potential for financial loss from adverse changes in underlying market factors, including interest and foreign exchange rates, credit spreads, and equity and commodity prices.

Master netting agreement

An industry standard agreement designed to reduce the credit risk of multiple transactions with a counterparty through the creation of a legal right of offset of exposures in the event of a default by that counterparty and through the provision for net settlement of all contracts through a single payment.


Operational risk

The risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems or from external events.

Other off-balance sheet exposure

The amount of credit risk exposure resulting from the issuance of guarantees and letters of credit.

Other retail

This exposure class includes all loans other than qualifying revolving retail and real estate secured personal lending, that are extended to individuals and small businesses under the regulatory capital reporting framework.

Over-the-counter derivatives (OTC) exposure

The amount of credit risk exposure resulting from derivatives that trade directly between two counterparties, rather than through exchanges.


Probability of default (PD)

An estimate of the likelihood of default for any particular customer which occurs when that customer is not able to repay its obligations as they become contractually due.


Qualifying revolving retail

This exposure class includes credit cards, unsecured lines of credit and overdraft protection products extended to individuals. Under the standardized approach, these exposures would be included under "other retail".


Real estate secured personal lending

This exposure class includes residential mortgages and home equity lines of credit extended to individuals.

Regulatory capital

Basel III regulatory capital, as defined by OSFI's Capital Adequacy Requirements Guideline, comprises Common Equity Tier 1, Additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital. Common Equity Tier 1 includes common shares, retained earnings and AOCI (excluding AOCI relating to cash flow hedges), less regulatory adjustments for items such as goodwill and other intangible assets, deferred tax assets, assets related to defined benefit pension plans, and certain investments. Additional Tier 1 capital primarily includes preferred shares and innovative Tier 1 notes. Tier 2 capital consists primarily of subordinated debentures. Both OSFI and BCBS have amended the rules on instruments that can be considered qualifying Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital instruments for the purposes of calculating regulatory capital under Basel III. In particular, capital instruments must be capable of absorbing loss at the point of non-viability of a financial institution in order to qualify as regulatory capital. The instruments that no longer qualify under Basel III will be excluded from regulatory capital at a rate of 10% per annum commencing January 1, 2013 through to January 1, 2022. Basel II regulatory capital comprises Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital. Tier 1 capital comprises common shares, retained earnings, preferred shares, innovative Tier 1 notes, non-controlling interests, contributed surplus, and foreign currency translation adjustments. All Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital elements are net of trading short positions. Goodwill and gain on sale of applicable securitized assets is deducted from Tier 1 capital. Tier 2 capital comprises subordinated debt and eligible collective/general allowance. Both Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital are subject to certain other deductions on a 50/50 basis.

Repo-style transactions (Repos) exposure

The amount of credit risk exposure resulting from our securities bought or sold under resale agreements, as well as securities borrowing and lending activities.

Retail portfolios

A category of exposures that includes primarily consumer but also small business lending, where the primary basis of adjudication relies on credit scoring models.

Risk-weighted assets (RWAs)

RWAs consist of three components: (i) RWAs for credit risk are calculated using the AIRB approach and Standardized Approach. The AIRB RWAs are calculated utilizing PDs, LGDs, EADs, and in some cases maturity adjustment, and the Standardized Approach applies risk weighting factors specified in the OSFI guidelines to on- and off-balance sheet exposures; (ii) RWAs for market risk in the trading portfolio are statistically estimated based on models approved by OSFI with the exception of the RWAs for traded securitization assets where we are using the methodology defined by OSFI; and (iii) RWAs for operational risk relating to the risk of losses from inadequate or failed processes, people and systems are calculated under the AMA approach.



The process of selling assets (normally financial assets such as loans, leases, trade receivables, credit card receivables or mortgages) to trusts or other special purpose entities (SPEs). A SPE normally issues securities or other form of interests to investors and/or the asset transferor, and the SPE uses the proceeds of the issue of securities to purchase the transferred assets. The SPE will generally use the cash flows generated by the assets to meet the obligations under the securities or other interests issued by the SPE, which may carry a number of different risk profiles.

Sovereign exposures

All direct credit risk exposures to governments, central banks and certain public sector entities, and exposures guaranteed by those entities.

Standardized approach for credit risk

Applied to exposures when there is not sufficient information to allow for the AIRB approach for credit risk. Credit risk capital requirements are calculated based on a standardized set of risk weights as prescribed in the Basel Accord. The standardized risk weights are based on external credit assessments, where available, and on other risk related factors, including export credit agencies, exposure asset class, collateral, etc.

Stressed VaR

A Value-at-Risk calculation using a one-year observation period related to significant losses for the given portfolio at a specified level of confidence and time horizon.


Undrawn exposures

The amount of credit risk exposure resulting from loans that have not been advanced to a customer, but which a customer may be entitled to draw in the future.


Value-at-Risk (VaR)

Generally accepted risk measure that uses statistical models to estimate the distribution of possible returns on a given portfolio at a specified level of confidence and time horizon.

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