Interbank Exposures: An Empirical Examination of Contagion Risk in the Belgian Banking System
International Journal of Central Banking,
Robust (cross-border) interbank markets are important for the proper functioning of modern financial systems. However, a network of interbank exposures may lead to domino effects following the event of an initial bank failure. We investigate the evolution and determinants of contagion risk for the Belgian banking system over the period 1993–2002 using detailed information on aggregate interbank exposures of individual banks, large bilateral interbank exposures, and cross-border interbank exposures. The "structure" of the interbank market affects contagion risk. We find that a change from a complete structure (where all banks have symmetric links) toward a "multiplemoney-center" structure (where money centers are symmetrically linked to otherwise disconnected banks) has decreased the risk and impact of contagion. In addition, an increase in the relative importance of cross-border interbank exposures has lowered local contagion risk. However, this reduction may have been compensated by an increase in contagion risk stemming from foreign banks.
The Influence of a Heterogeneous Banking Sector on the Interbank Market Rate in the Euro Area
Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics,
Why do we have an interbank money market?
IWH Discussion Papers,
The interbank money market plays a key role in the execution of monetary policy. Hence, it is important to know the functioning of this market and the determinants of the interbank money market rate. In this paper, we develop an interbank money market model with a heterogeneous banking sector. We show that besides for balancing daily liquidity fluctuations banks participate in the interbank market because they have different marginal costs of obtaining funds from the central bank. In the euro area, which we refer to, these cost differences occur because banks have different marginal cost of collateral which they need to hold to obtain funds from the central bank. Banks with relatively low marginal costs act as intermediaries between the central bank and banks with relatively high marginal costs. The necessary positive spread between the interbank market rate and the central bank rate is determined by transaction costs and credit risk in the interbank market, total liquidity needs of the banking sector, costs of obtaining funds from the central bank, and the distribution of the latter across banks.
Rating Agency Actions and the Pricing of Debt and Equity of European Banks: What Can we Infer About Private Sector Monitoring of Bank Soundness?
The recent consultative papers by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has raised the possibility of an explicit role for external rating agencies in the assessment of the credit risk of banks’ assets, including interbank claims. Any judgement on the merits of this proposal calls for an assessment of the information contained in credit ratings and its relationship to other publicly available information on the financial health of banks and borrowers. We assess this issue via an event study of rating change announcements by leading international rating agencies, focusing on rating changes for European banks for which data on bond and equity prices are available. We find little evidence of announcement effects on bond prices, which may reflect the lack of liquidity in bond markets in Europe during much of our sample period. For equity prices, we find strong effects of ratings changes, although some of our results may suffer from contamination by contemporaneous news events. We also test for pre-announcement and post-announcement effects, but find little evidence of either. Overall, our results suggest that ratings agencies may perform a useful role in summarizing and obtaining non-public information on banks and that monitoring of banks’ risk through bond holders appears to be relatively limited in Europe. The relatively weak monitoring by bondholders casts some doubt on the effectiveness of a subordinated debt requirement as a supervisory tool in the European context, at least until bond markets are more developed.