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Does a leverage ratio requirement increase bank stability?

Author

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  • Kiema, Ilkka
  • Jokivuolle, Esa

Abstract

Basel III has introduced a non-risk-weighted leverage ratio requirement (LRR) which complements the internal ratings based (IRB) capital requirements. It provides a backstop against model risk which arises if some loans get incorrectly rated and become toxic. We study the effects of the LRR on lending strategies and its implications for banks’ stability. We show that the LRR might induce banks with low-risk lending strategies to diversify their portfolios into high-risk loans until the LRR is no longer the binding capital constraint on them. If the LRR is lower than the average bank’s IRB requirement, the aggregate capital costs of banks do not increase. However, because the diversification makes banks’ portfolios more alike the banking sector as a whole may become more exposed to model risk in each loan category. This may undermine banking sector stability. On balance, our calibrated model motivates a significantly higher LRR than the current one.

Suggested Citation

  • Kiema, Ilkka & Jokivuolle, Esa, 2014. "Does a leverage ratio requirement increase bank stability?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 240-254.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:39:y:2014:i:c:p:240-254
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2013.11.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blum, Jürg M., 2008. "Why 'Basel II' may need a leverage ratio restriction," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1699-1707, August.
    2. Gordy, Michael B., 2000. "A comparative anatomy of credit risk models," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 119-149, January.
    3. Gennaioli, Nicola & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2012. "Neglected risks, financial innovation, and financial fragility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 452-468.
    4. Repullo, Rafael & Suarez, Javier, 2004. "Loan pricing under Basel capital requirements," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 496-521, October.
    5. Acharya, Viral V. & Schnabl, Philipp & Suarez, Gustavo, 2013. "Securitization without risk transfer," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 515-536.
    6. Samuel G. Hanson & Anil K. Kashyap & Jeremy C. Stein, 2011. "A Macroprudential Approach to Financial Regulation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dermine, Jean, 2015. "Basel III leverage ratio requirement and the probability of bank runs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 266-277.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank regulation; Basel III; Capital requirements; Credit risk; Leverage ratio;

    JEL classification:

    • D41 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Perfect Competition
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • 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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