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Keep the faith in banking: New evidence for the effects of negative interest rates based on the case of Finnish cooperative banks


  • Junttila, Juha
  • Perttunen, Jukka
  • Raatikainen, Juhani


This paper analyses the profitability of Finnish cooperative banks during the period of negative nominal interest rates. Contrary to expectations, the continuous decline in money market interest rates between 2009 and 2014, and the following negative rate era, did not have adverse effects on the profitability of banks at the beginning of negative interest rate period. Based on especially using a risk-adjusted measure for bank profitability, these results contrast with previous findings. In our findings, the increasing wholesale funding (WSF) ratio seems to be an important factor. However, after 2017 the banks have not been able to improve especially their risk-adjusted profitability so strongly anymore, because the WSF and the development of other than net interest margin returns have been in negative connection to it. In addition, the unconventional monetary policy actions seem not to improve profitability in the most recent observations of our data. These results raise serious concerns for the future of bank profitability during the prolonged period of negative interest rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Junttila, Juha & Perttunen, Jukka & Raatikainen, Juhani, 2021. "Keep the faith in banking: New evidence for the effects of negative interest rates based on the case of Finnish cooperative banks," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:75:y:2021:i:c:s1057521921000673
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irfa.2021.101724

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    More about this item


    Banks; Profitability; Negative interest rates; Dynamic conditional correlations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C58 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Financial Econometrics
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages


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