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The disciplining effect of supervisory scrutiny on banks’ risk-taking: evidence from the EU wide stress test


  • Kok, Christoffer
  • Müller, Carola
  • Pancaro, Cosimo


This article aims to contribute to the ongoing discussion about the long-term strategy for stress testing in the euro area. In particular, it highlights some of the strengths and weaknesses of the constrained bottom-up approach, which is currently used in the EU‑wide stress-testing exercise. Under this approach, banks use their own models to generate stress test projections on the basis of a common macroeconomic scenario and under the constraints imposed by the European Banking Authority methodology. This set-up provides banks with some scope to underestimate their vulnerabilities in order to appear more resilient than their peers. This article confirms previous empirical evidence showing that such behaviour may indeed be practised by banks. This, in turn, requires a robust quality assurance of banks’ stress test projections by the competent authorities (including the European Central Bank), to enforce more realistic results. Against this background, the article presents a novel empirical analysis providing indicative evidence that the “supervisory scrutiny” relating to the quality assurance may be having a disciplining effect on banks’ risk-taking. JEL Classification: G21, G28

Suggested Citation

  • Kok, Christoffer & Müller, Carola & Pancaro, Cosimo, 2019. "The disciplining effect of supervisory scrutiny on banks’ risk-taking: evidence from the EU wide stress test," Macroprudential Bulletin, European Central Bank, vol. 9.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbmbu:2019:0009:3
    Note: 508948

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    More about this item


    risk-taking; stress test; supervisory scrutiny;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation


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