Compensation Regulation in Banking: Executive Director Behavior and Bank Performance after the EU Bonus Cap
Stefano Colonnello, Michael Koetter, Konstantin Wagner
Journal of Accounting and Economics,
The regulation that caps executives’ variable compensation, as part of the Capital Requirements Directive IV of 2013, likely affected executive turnover, compensation design, and risk-taking in EU banking. The current study identifies significantly higher average turnover rates but also finds that they are driven by CEOs at poorly performing banks. Banks indemnified their executives by off-setting the bonus cap with higher fixed compensation. Although our evidence is only suggestive, we do not find any reduction in risk-taking at the bank level, one purported aim of the regulation.
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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The Disciplining Effect of Supervisory Scrutiny in the EU-wide Stress Test
Christoffer Kok, Carola Müller, Steven Ongena, Cosimo Pancaro
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
Relying on confidential supervisory data related to the 2016 EU-wide stress test, this paper presents novel empirical evidence that supervisory scrutiny associated to stress testing has a disciplining effect on bank risk. We find that banks that participated in the 2016 EU-wide stress test subsequently reduced their credit risk relative to banks that were not part of this exercise. Relying on new metrics for supervisory scrutiny that measure the quantity, potential impact, and duration of interactions between banks and supervisors during the stress test, we find that the disciplining effect is stronger for banks subject to more intrusive supervisory scrutiny during the exercise. We also find that a strong risk management culture is a prerequisite for the supervisory scrutiny to be effective. Finally, we show that a similar disciplining effect is not exerted neither by higher capital charges nor by more transparency and related market discipline induced by the stress test.
Capital Markets Union: Database of Directives and Regulations
Moritz Emlein, Eleonora Sfrappini, Lena Tonzer, Cristina Zgherea
IWH Technical Reports,
In 2015, the European Commission adopted the Capital Markets Union (CMU) action plan. The plan aims to deepen financial integration and harmonize international standards for investments within the European Union (EU) and it outlines several actions to be implemented in order to address twelve key priority areas. We assemble a database of the legislative acts that implement the CMU. The dataset includes a list of directives and regulations at the EU level with information on publication, entry into force, and transposition dates as well as brief descriptions. This information might be useful in empirical analyses assessing the effectiveness of components of the CMU.
Completing the European Banking Union: Capital Cost Consequences for Credit Providers and Corporate Borrowers
Michael Koetter, Thomas Krause, Eleonora Sfrappini, Lena Tonzer
European Economic Review,
The bank recovery and resolution directive (BRRD) regulates the bail-in hierarchy to resolve distressed banks in the European Union (EU). Using the staggered BRRD implementation across 15 member states, we identify banks’ capital cost responses and subsequent pass-through to borrowers towards surprise elements due to national transposition details. Average bank capital costs increase heterogeneously across countries with strongest funding cost hikes observed for banks located in GIIPS and non-EMU countries. Only banks in core E(M)U countries that exhibit higher funding costs increase credit spreads for corporate borrowers and contract credit supply. Tighter credit conditions are only passed on to more levered and less profitable firms. On balance, the national implementation of BRRD appears to have strengthened financial system resilience without a pervasive hike in borrowing costs.
A Note of Caution on Quantifying Banks' Recapitalization Effects
Felix Noth, Kirsten Schmidt, Lena Tonzer
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
Unconventional monetary policy measures like asset purchase programs aim to reduce certain securities' yield and alter financial institutions' investment behavior. These measures increase the institutions' market value of securities and add to their equity positions. We show that the extent of this recapitalization effect crucially depends on the securities' accounting and valuation methods, country-level regulation, and maturity structure. We argue that future research needs to consider these factors when quantifying banks' recapitalization effects and consequent changes in banks' lending decisions to the real sector.
Climate Change-Related Regulatory Risks and Bank Lending
Isabella Müller, Eleonora Sfrappini
ECB Working Paper,
We identify the effect of climate change-related regulatory risks on credit real-location. Our evidence suggests that effects depend borrower's region. Following an increase in salience of regulatory risks, banks reallocate credit to US firms that could be negatively impacted by regulatory interventions. Conversely, in Europe, banks lend more to firms that could benefit from environmental regulation. The effect is moderated by banks' own loan portfolio composition. Banks with a portfolio tilted towards firms that could be negatively a affected by environmental policies increasingly support these firms. Overall, our results indicate that financial implications of regulation associated with climate change appear to be the main drivers of banks' behavior.
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.
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