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The New Basel Capital Accord and the Cyclical Behaviour of Bank Capital

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  • Mark Illing
  • Graydon Paulin

Abstract

The authors conduct a counterfactual simulation of the proposed rules under the new Basel Capital Accord (Basel II), including the revised treatment of expected and unexpected credit losses proposed by the Basel Committee in October 2003. When the authors apply the simulation to Canadian banking system data over the period 1984–2003, they find that capital requirements for banks will likely fall in absolute terms even after allowing for the new operational risk charge (bearing in mind that the induced behavioural response of banks to the changed incentives under Basel II is not captured). The impact on the volatility of required bank capital is less clear. It will depend importantly on the credit quality distribution of banks' loan portfolios and on the precise way in which they calculate expected and unexpected losses. Sensitivity analysis, including that based on a range of hypothetical distributions for banks' loan portfolios, shows the potential for a substantial increase in implied volatility. Moreover, if historical relationships are a good indicator of the future, changes in required capital and provisions for commercial and industrial, interbank, and sovereign exposures will likely be countercyclical under Basel II (i.e., capital requirements will increase during recessions). This raises questions about the new accord's potentially procyclical impact on banks' lending behaviour, and the resultant macroeconomic implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Illing & Graydon Paulin, 2004. "The New Basel Capital Accord and the Cyclical Behaviour of Bank Capital," Staff Working Papers 04-30, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:04-30
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ryan Felushko & Eric Santor, 2006. "The International Monetary Fund's Balance-Sheet and Credit Risk," Staff Working Papers 06-21, Bank of Canada.
    2. Étienne Bordeleau & Allan Crawford & Christopher Graham, 2009. "Regulatory Constraints on Bank Leverage: Issues and Lessons from the Canadian Experience," Discussion Papers 09-15, Bank of Canada.
    3. Patrick Van Roy, 2005. "The impact of the 1988 Basel Accord on banks' capital ratios and credit risk-taking: an international study," Finance 0509013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Guidara, Alaa & Lai, Van Son & Soumaré, Issouf & Tchana, Fulbert Tchana, 2013. "Banks’ capital buffer, risk and performance in the Canadian banking system: Impact of business cycles and regulatory changes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3373-3387.
    5. Meh, Césaire A. & Moran, Kevin, 2010. "The role of bank capital in the propagation of shocks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 555-576, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law

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