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Detecting Financial Stability Vulnerabilities in Due Time: Can Simple Indicators Identify a Complex Issue?

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamin Neudorfer

    () (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Financial Markets Analysis and Surveillance Division)

  • Michael Sigmund

    () (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Financial Markets Analysis and Surveillance Division)

  • Alexander Trachta

    () (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Financial Markets Analysis and Surveillance Division)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the resilience of credit institutions to instances of financial instability based on simple publicly available balance sheet and income statement figures. In the course of the recent financial crisis and the related credit turmoil, the loss absorption capacity of the global financial system has been stretched to its limit. Globally active financial institutions, many of them systemically relevant, needed government support to keep their capital ratios above regulatory and/or market required minima. Central banks had to step in to provide liquidity when large parts of the financial markets ceased to function. From an ex-post perspective, the crisis provided a real stress scenario which we use to explain bank performance by examining simple indicators such as capitalization, liquidity, funding structure and asset-side exposure. To cover systemically important European banks we choose a subset from the bank sample used by the European Banking Association for the EU-wide stresstesting exercise in 2011. We add three Austrian banks to arrive at a sample of 90 European banks in total (including altogether six Austrian banks). To measure bank performance, we use return on average assets, return on average equity, operating profits, required government support and equity prices. We show that these performance measures can be explained adequately by our simple indicators. We are able to identify the strong, respectively weak, banks that did not, respectively did, need government support in 2009. Regarding the other performance measures we give a forecast for 2011 about which banks are expected to perform well, ordinarily and poorly.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Neudorfer & Michael Sigmund & Alexander Trachta, 2011. "Detecting Financial Stability Vulnerabilities in Due Time: Can Simple Indicators Identify a Complex Issue?," Financial Stability Report, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 22, pages 59-71.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbfs:y:2011:i:22:b:1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rocco Huang & Lev Ratnovski, 2009. "Why Are Canadian Banks More Resilient?," IMF Working Papers 09/152, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Andrea Beltratti & René M. Stulz, 2009. "Why Did Some Banks Perform Better During the Credit Crisis? A Cross-Country Study of the Impact of Governance and Regulation," NBER Working Papers 15180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Asli Demirguc‐Kunt & Enrica Detragiache & Ouarda Merrouche, 2013. "Bank Capital: Lessons from the Financial Crisis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(6), pages 1147-1164, September.
    4. Berger, Allen N. & Udell, Gregory F., 2004. "The institutional memory hypothesis and the procyclicality of bank lending behavior," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 458-495, October.
    5. Tigran Poghosyan & Martin Cihak, 2009. "Distress in European Banks; An Analysis Basedon a New Dataset," IMF Working Papers 09/9, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Konrad Banachewicz & André Lucas & Aad van der Vaart, 2008. "Modelling Portfolio Defaults Using Hidden Markov Models with Covariates," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 11(1), pages 155-171, March.
    7. Pierluigi Bologna, 2010. "Australian Banking System Resilience; What Should Be Expected Looking Forward? An International Perspective," IMF Working Papers 10/228, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Liliana Rojas-Suarez, 2001. "Rating Banks in Emerging Markets: What Credit Rating Agencies Should Learn from Financial Indicators," Working Paper Series WP01-6, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bank performance; financial crisis; stress testing; early warning;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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