14.02.2023 • 4/2023
Study on Europe's top bankers: Risky business despite bonus cap
Ten years ago, the EU Parliament decided to cap the flexible remuneration of bank managers. But the cap on bonuses misses its target: Managers of systemically important European banks take high risks without changes, shows a study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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Capital Requirements, Market Structure, and Heterogeneous Banks
IWH Discussion Papers,
Bank regulators interfere with the efficient allocation of resources for the sake of financial stability. Based on this trade-off, I compare how different capital requirements affect default probabilities and the allocation of market shares across heterogeneous banks. In the model, banks‘ productivity determines their optimal strategy in oligopolistic markets. Higher productivity gives banks higher profit margins that lower their default risk. Hence, capital requirements indirectly aiming at high-productivity banks are less effective. They also bear a distortionary cost: Because incumbents increase interest rates, new entrants with low productivity are attracted and thus average productivity in the banking market decreases.
The Adverse Effect of Contingent Convertible Bonds on Bank Stability
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper examines the effect of CoCo bonds that qualify as additional tier 1 capital on bank fundamentals. The results reveal a significant reduction in the distance to insolvency following the hybrid bond issuance due to increased earnings volatility. Further analyses suggest a link between CoCo issuance and more active earnings management, evidenced by a higher standard deviation of loan loss provisions and impairment charges. The findings substantiate long-standing theoretical hypotheses suggesting that the regulatory design requirements for going-concern CoCos adversely affect bank stability. Furthermore, they correspond to the notion that private monitoring is largely absent as a corrective measure due to prevailing uncertainties and information frictions.
Neue Basel-Regeln: Mehr Stabilität, weniger Kredite?
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Ein Kernpunkt des geplanten Basel-III-Regelwerks sind die gestiegenen Eigenkapitalanforderungen. Umsetzungsprobleme könnten die gewünschten Effekte der Reformen jedoch konterkarieren. Zum einen könnten Banken ihre Eigenkapitalquote erhöhen, indem sie weniger Kredite an risikoreiche Kreditnehmer vergeben, statt ihr Eigenkapital
aufzustocken. Hiervon wären vor allem mittelständische Unternehmen ohne Kreditrating betroffen. Zum anderen lassen auch die neuen, strengeren Regeln den nationalen Bankenaufsehern Bewertungsspielräume, die von den Banken – politisch geduldet – zu einer Inflationierung ihres Eigenkapitals genutzt werden könnten.
Are Bank Capital Requirements Optimally Set? Evidence from Researchers’ Views
Journal of Financial Stability,
We survey 149 leading academic researchers on bank capital regulation. The median (average) respondent prefers a 10% (15%) minimum non-risk-weighted equity-to-assets ratio, which is considerably higher than the current requirement. North Americans prefer a significantly higher equity-to-assets ratio than Europeans. We find substantial support for the new forms of regulation introduced in Basel III, such as liquidity requirements. Views are most dispersed regarding the use of hybrid assets and bail-inable debt in capital regulation. 70% of experts would support an additional market-based capital requirement. When investigating factors driving capital requirement preferences, we find that the typical expert believes a five percentage points increase in capital requirements would “probably decrease” both the likelihood and social cost of a crisis with “minimal to no change” to loan volumes and economic activity. The best predictor of capital requirement preference is how strongly an expert believes that higher capital requirements would increase the cost of bank lending.
Transposition Frictions, Banking Union, and Integrated Financial Markets in Europe
G20 Insights Policy Brief, Policy Area "Financial Resilience",
In response to the financial crisis of 2007/2008, policymakers implemented comprehensive changes concerning the regulation and supervision of banks. Many of those changes, including Basel III or the directives pertaining to the Single Rulebook in the European Union (EU), are agreed upon at the supranational level, which constitutes a key step towards harmonized regulation and supervision in an integrated European financial market. However, the success of these reforms depends on the uniform and timely implementation at the national level. Avoiding strategic delays to implement EU regulation into national laws should thus constitute a main target of the G20.
11.08.2016 • 34/2016
2016 stress tests: Italian banks don’t look worse than German large commercial banks
The European Banking Authority today presented the results of the 2016 stress tests. They show that most European banks appear more or less stable. “What worries me is, however, that the Italian banks do not look worse than the large German commercial banks,” says Reint E. Gropp, president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). “It appears that both Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank would benefit significantly from an increase in equity. The stress test was also missing two crucial points: One, the effect of a long lasting low interest rate environment on banks was not simulated. And second, the test did not take into consideration that many small institutions could fail at the same time. This is not an unlikely scenario, given how small banks in particular struggle with shrinking interest margins,“ says Gropp. Finally, the stress test should not distract from the urgency to solve the problems in the Italian banking system.
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