Risk and regret aversions on optimal bank interest margin under capital regulation
This paper examines the bank's optimal loan rate (and thus the bank's interest margin) under more stringent capital regulation when the bank is not only risk-averse but also regret-averse. Risk-averse preferences are characterized by an option-based utility function that includes disutility from the dislike of bank equity risk. Regret-averse preferences feature an option-based utility function that includes disutility from having chosen ex-post suboptimal alternatives. We show that an increase in bank capital requirement results in an increased margin under risk aversion dominating regret aversion, whereas it results in a reduced margin under regret aversion dominating risk aversion. The former holds when risk aversion domination stems from increasing risk-averse preference, but not from decreasing regret-averse preference, while the latter holds when regret aversion domination results from either decreasing risk-averse or increasing regret-averse preference. Risk aversion, as such, makes the bank more prudent and less prone to risk-taking, while regret aversion, as such, makes the bank less prudent and more prone to risk-taking.
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