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Assessment of “stress tests” conducted on the French banking system


  • De Bandt, O.
  • Oung, V.


During the first quarter of 2004, the General Secretariat of the Commission bancaire (SGCB) and the Directorate General Economics and International Relations (DGEI) of the Banque de France conducted an assessment of the stability of the French banking system and its capacity to withstand a set of macroeconomic and financial shocks, as part of a broader evaluation of the French financial system carried out under the auspices of the IMF’s Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP). The assessment employed a macro-prudential approach which seeks to quantify the effects of shocks to the banking system using “stress tests”. The tests measured the impact of severe shocks, deemed plausible but infrequent: e.g., a recession, a large movement in interest rates, an oil price shock, a sharp drop in stock prices. This report discusses in detail the principal characteristics of the “stress tests” and the innovations introduced during the French FSAP, including in particular the design of coherent scenarios, which were developed using the DGEI’s macroeconomic model and the SGCB’s financial models for measuring risk. The results of the assessment indicate that, given the high average solvency ratio, the French banking system is currently in a position to withstand a major macroeconomic shock, such as a prolonged recession lasting two years. This type of shock would, however, erode the quality of bank assets and reduce bank profits by 38.5% in the second year, compared with the baseline, resulting in a decline in the international solvency ratio of one percentage point (using the Basel I methodology) or two percentage points (using the new methodology proposed in the Basel II Accord). Other scenarios, such as a 32% depreciation of the dollar against the euro for two years or an increase of nearly 50% in the price of oil also for two years, would have more limited effects on net income and solvency ratios.

Suggested Citation

  • De Bandt, O. & Oung, V., 2004. "Assessment of “stress tests” conducted on the French banking system," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 5, pages 55-72, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:fisrev:2004:5:1

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    Cited by:

    1. Albert, Jose Ramon & Ng, Thiam Hee, 2012. "Assessing the Resilience of ASEAN Banking Systems: The Case of the Philippines," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 93, Asian Development Bank.
    2. Darne, O. & Levy-Rueff, O. & Pop, A., 2013. "Calibrating Initial Shocks in Bank Stress Test Scenarios: An Outlier Detection Based Approach," Working papers 426, Banque de France.
    3. Ruja, Catalin, 2014. "Macro Stress-Testing Credit Risk in Romanian Banking System," MPRA Paper 58244, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Avouyi-Dovi, S. & Bardos, M. & Jardet, C. & Kendaoui, L. & Moquet , J., 2009. "Macro stress testing with a macroeconomic credit risk model: Application to the French manufacturing sector," Working papers 238, Banque de France.
    5. Sebastiano Laviola & Juri Marcucci & Mario Quagliariello, 2006. "Stress testing credit risk: experience from the italian FSAP," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 59(238), pages 269-291.

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