Modelling the distribution of credit losses with observable and latent factors
This paper proposes a dynamic model to estimate the credit loss distribution of the aggregate portfolio of loans granted in a banking system. We consider a sectoral approach distinguishing between corporates and households. The evolution of their default frequencies and the size of the loans portfolio are expressed as functions of macroeconomic conditions as well as unobservable credit risk factors, which capture contagion effects between sectors. In addition, we model the distributions of the Exposures at Default and the Losses Given Default. We apply our framework to the Spanish banking system, where we find that sectoral default frequencies are not only affected by economic cycles but also by a persistent latent factor. Finally, we identify the riskier sectors, perform stress tests and compare the relative risk of small and large institutions.
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