Category Archives: Microprudential Regulation

Bitesize: How 20-somethings are getting onto the housing ladder in London

Sachin Galaiya.

There are two ways people can make their resources go further when buying a home.

One is to increase the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and hence increase the amount available to buy a house for a given deposit.

The other is to lengthen the term over which the mortgage is repaid, which increases the size of loan associated with a given level of monthly repayments.

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Filed under Bitesize, Microprudential Regulation

Unintended consequences of higher capital requirements

Arzu Uluc and Tomasz Wieladek.

Following the global financial crisis of 2007-08, financial reform introduced time-varying capital requirements to raise the resilience of the financial system. But do we really understand how this policy works and the impact it is likely to have on UK banks’ largest activity, mortgage lending? In a recent paper we investigated the UK experience of time-varying microprudential capital requirements before the financial crisis. We found that an increase in this requirement intended to make a bank more resilient actually induced it to shift into riskier mortgage lending.

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Filed under Banking, Financial Stability, Macroprudential Regulation, Microprudential Regulation

Mind the steps: competition implications of graduated approach to setting capital surcharges

Paolo Siciliani, Nic Garbarino, Thomas Papavranoussis and Jonathan Stalmann.

Systemically important banks are material providers of critical economic functions.  The Global Financial Crisis showed how distress or failure of one of these firms may have a severe impact on the financial system and the real economy.  Systemic capital surcharges protect the economy from these negative spillovers by decreasing systemically important firms’ probability of distress or failure.   A graduated approach facilitates effective competition to the extent that the capital surcharges faced by firms are more proportionate to the scale of systemic risks that they pose. This post illustrates some of the competition implications with respect to the methodology used to set the number and level of thresholds.

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Filed under Banking, Financial Stability, Macroprudential Regulation, Microprudential Regulation

Should the true costs of insuring deposits of up to £75,000 be made clearer?

Andrew Hewitt.

Deposit insurance schemes guard against bank runs by reducing or removing individual depositors’ incentives to withdraw their funds if they believe their bank to be in trouble. They help protect depositors but they risk also protecting risky bank business models by removing depositors’ incentives to avoid riskier banks. What can be done about this? In the past the answer was sometimes to make small depositors bear part of the risk through “co-insurance”. This was proven not to be credible. In this blog I consider some of the options available, including the risk-based levies currently being introduced in the EU and elsewhere, and increased transparency, drawing on recent literature on the saliency of tax in consumer choices.

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Filed under Banking, Financial Stability, Microprudential Regulation, Resolution

What does the UK experience tell us about cyclicality in banks’ risk appetite?

Matthew Osborne, Alistair Milne & Ana-Maria Fuertes.

Does the risk appetite of banks vary over the cycle? Our recent research paper sheds light on this issue by examining the time-varying correlation between banks’ capital ratios and lending rates which cannot be explained by bank characteristics, such as capital requirements, portfolio risk, size and market share, or macroeconomic factors.  The relationship notably differs between episodes of rapid credit expansion (“good times”), and episodes of crisis with moderate or negative credit growth (“bad times”).  This is difficult to reconcile with traditional theories of bank intermediation, but is consistent with recent theories emphasising cyclical variation in bank leverage and risk appetite.

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Filed under Banking, Financial Markets, Financial Stability, Macroprudential Regulation, Microprudential Regulation

Shocks Happen: Are Retail Deposits the Answer?

John Hill and Jeremy Chiu.

In September 2007, Northern Rock became the victim of the UK’s first bank-run since 1878. Northern Rock had lost access to the wholesale markets on which it relied for its funding.  Bank funding has remained a key issue for policymakers in the wake of the crisis, and has been the subject of new rules designed to promote funding resilience.   Today, banks are more reliant on retail deposits for their funding, but this could present other issues for the dynamics of retail deposits that are less well understood.  In this post, we introduce some of our own research that shows that banks are unable to raise deposits quickly in order to plug funding gaps opened up by adverse shocks.

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Filed under Banking, Financial Stability, Microprudential Regulation

Bank liquidity requirements: How to get more bang for your buck

Iñaki Aldasoro, Ester Faia, Gerardo Ferrara, Sam Langfield, Zijun Liu and Tomohiro Ota.

We make the case for a macroprudential approach to liquidity requirements in the cross-section of banks. Currently, the liquidity coverage requirement is applied uniformly across banks. This microprudential approach overlooks externalities: owing to their size, complexity and position in the interbank funding network, some banks can cause inordinate damage to the rest of the banking system. When externalities are taken into account, we show that these systemically important banks should be subject to more stringent liquidity requirements. This cross-sectional macroprudential approach promises “more bang for the buck”: systemic risk can be reduced without increasing the stringency of liquidity requirements for the banking system as a whole.

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Filed under Banking, Financial Stability, Macroprudential Regulation, Microprudential Regulation

Stress tests: The small print matters

Dirk Tasche.

Stress testing is ubiquitous in today’s banking supervision regime. The stress test results are eagerly anticipated and received by the public and can have serious consequences for banks presenting ‘bad’ numbers. The public discussion of the stress scenarios seems to be focussed on their economic meaning (here is an example). The statistical smallprint relating to stress tests receives much less public attention. I pick up two modelling choices for closer inspection:

  • Stress scenarios are meant to be point scenarios.
  • Stress test results tend to be presented as single values.

I demonstrate that depending on the understanding of the scenario and the representation of the results, there is a wide range of plausible outcomes of a stress test.

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Filed under Banking, Financial Stability, Microprudential Regulation

Saving Liquidity in a Liquidity-abundant World: Why don’t banks use less liquidity when making high-value payments?

David Seaward.

CHAPS banks have oodles of liquidity and are not afraid to use it, as quantitative easing has meant banks accumulated unprecedented quantities of reserves. And in this liquidity-abundant world, banks are less likely to be concerned with how well they use tools for liquidity saving in the Bank’s Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) infrastructure. And besides, the timings of liquidity-hungry payments are stubborn. They can’t always be retimed to optimise liquidity usage, and this means that the potential for liquidity savings in RTGS from the Bank’s Liquidity Savings Mechanism (LSM) is limited.

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Filed under Banking, Financial Stability, Market Infrastructure, Microprudential Regulation

From Berlin to Basel: what can 1930s Germany teach us about banking regulation?

Tobias Neumann.

Two of the country’s largest banks collapse.  The subsequent panic brings the banking system to its knees and only a costly government bail-out prevents even greater catastrophe.  A radical re-think of regulation is needed.  No, it’s not London or New York in 2008.  It is Berlin in the 1930s.  It’s when risk-weighted capital regulation was born, notably to be used alongside a range of other tools; for example, liquidity requirements and such modern ideas as bonus deferrals and capital conservation.  But the idea that no single regulatory measure is likely to be sufficient on its own was forgotten.  In 2008 it had to be painfully re-learned making this episode a striking example of the importance of studying past financial crises.

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Filed under Banking, Economic History, Financial Stability, Microprudential Regulation