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The macroeconomic impact of shocks to bank capital buffers in the Euro Area


  • Kanngiesser Derrick

    (Bank of England, London, UK)

  • Martin Reiner

    (European Central Bank, Frankfurt am Main, Germany)

  • Maurin Laurent

    (European Investment Bank, Luxembourg, Luxembourg)

  • Moccero Diego

    () (European Central Bank, Frankfurt am Main, Germany)


While the global financial crisis revealed a need for macroprudential policy tools to mitigate the build-up of risk in the financial system, the impact of such policies on the banking sector and the macroeconomy remains largely uncertain. We contribute to the empirical literature that estimates the impact of shocks to bank capital buffers on bank lending and the macroeconomy by estimating a Bayesian VAR model identified with sign restrictions. We use bank-level data for large euro area listed banks to construct an aggregate bank capital buffer for the euro area, which is included as another variable in the model. We estimate three shocks affecting the euro area economy, namely a demand shock, a monetary policy shock and a shock to bank capital buffers. We find that banks curtail lending and reduce their relative exposure to riskier assets in response to a shock to the bank capital buffer. Historical shock decomposition analysis shows that shocks to bank capital buffers have contributed to impair bank lending growth and to widen bank lending spreads, hence depressing economic activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Kanngiesser Derrick & Martin Reiner & Maurin Laurent & Moccero Diego, 2020. "The macroeconomic impact of shocks to bank capital buffers in the Euro Area," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 20(1), pages 1-17, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:20:y:2020:i:1:p:17:n:15

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    More about this item


    bank balance sheet adjustment; bank capital buffer; bayesian VAR; Euro area; sign restrictions;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages


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