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Economic and Regulatory Capital in Banking: What Is the Difference?

  • Abel Elizalde

    (CEMFI and UPNA)

  • Rafael Repullo

    (CEMFI and CEPR)

We analyze the determinants of regulatory capital (the minimum required by regulation), economic capital (that chosen by shareholders without regulation), and actual capital (that chosen with regulation) in a dynamic model of a bank with a loan-portfolio return described by the single-risk-factor model of Basel II. We show that variables that only affect economic capital, such as the intermediation margin and the cost of capital, can account for large deviations from regulatory capital. Actual capital is closer to regulatory capital, but the threat of closing undercapitalized banks generates significant capital buffers. Market discipline, proxied by the coverage of deposit insurance, increases economic and actual capital, although the effects are small.

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Article provided by International Journal of Central Banking in its journal International Journal of Central Banking.

Volume (Year): 3 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 87-117

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Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2007:q:3:a:3
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  1. Repullo, Rafael & Suarez, Javier, 2004. "Loan pricing under Basel capital requirements," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 496-521, October.
  2. Gordy, Michael B., 2003. "A risk-factor model foundation for ratings-based bank capital rules," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 199-232, July.
  3. Mark Carey, 2001. "Dimensions of Credit Risk and Their Relationship to Economic Capital Requirements," NBER Chapters, in: Prudential Supervision: What Works and What Doesn't, pages 197-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Estrella, Arturo, 2004. "The cyclical behavior of optimal bank capital," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1469-1498, June.
  5. Patricia Jackson & William Perraudin & Victoria Saporta, 2002. "Regulatory and 'economic' solvency standards for internationally active banks," Bank of England working papers 161, Bank of England.
  6. Aggarwal, Raj & Jacques, Kevin T., 2001. "The impact of FDICIA and prompt corrective action on bank capital and risk: Estimates using a simultaneous equations model," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1139-1160, June.
  7. Calem, Paul & Rob, Rafael, 1999. "The Impact of Capital-Based Regulation on Bank Risk-Taking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 317-352, October.
  8. Mark J. Flannery & Kasturi P. Rangan, 2008. "What Caused the Bank Capital Build-up of the 1990s?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 12(2), pages 391-429.
  9. Rafael Repullo, 2002. "Capital requirements, market power, and risk-taking in banking," Proceedings 809, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. Steven A. Zimmer & Robert N. McCauley, 1990. "Bank cost of capital and international competition," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Win, pages 33-59.
  11. David Jones & John Mingo, 1998. "Industry practices in credit risk modeling and internal capital allocations: implications for a models-based regulatory capital standard," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Oct, pages 53-60.
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