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The determinants of long-term debt issuance by European banks: evidence of two crises

Author

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  • Adrian van Rixtel

    (Banco de España)

  • Luna Romo González

    (Banco de España)

  • Jing Yang

    (Bank of Canada)

Abstract

This paper is one of the first to investigate the determinants of bond issuance by European banks. We use a unique database of around 50,000 bonds issued by 63 banks from 14 European countries to test explicitly a broad set of hypotheses on the drivers of bond issuance. The sample covers the two major financial crises that caused severe dislocations in bank funding structures, i.e. the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 and the euro area financial crisis of 2010-2012. Our findings suggest that “market timing” (low interest rates) drove issuance before but not during the crisis, when access to funding became more important than its cost. Moreover, during the crisis years, country-risk characteristics became drivers of bond issuance, while for banks from the euro area periphery central bank liquidity substituted for unsecured long-term debt. We also show that heightened financial market tensions were detrimental to bond issuance, and more strongly so during crisis episodes. We find evidence of “leverage targeting” by means of the issuance of long-term debt during the crisis years. The positive and significant coefficient for the capital ratio supports the “risk absorption” hypothesis, suggesting that larger capital buffers enhanced the risk-bearing capacity of banks and allowed them to issue more debt. Moreover, banks with deposit supply constraints and relatively large loan portfolios issued more bonds, both before and after the crisis years. We find, too, that higher rated banks were more likely to issue bonds, also during the crisis period. Stronger banks issued unsecured debt in particular, while weaker banks resorted more to issuance of covered bonds. Overall, our results suggest that stronger banks – including those from peripheral countries – maintained better access to longer-term funding markets, even during crisis periods.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrian van Rixtel & Luna Romo González & Jing Yang, 2016. "The determinants of long-term debt issuance by European banks: evidence of two crises," Working Papers 1621, Banco de España.
  • Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:1621
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    Cited by:

    1. Leonardo Gambacorta & Adrian van Rixtel & Stefano Schiaffi, 2019. "Changing Business Models In International Bank Funding," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(2), pages 1038-1055, April.
    2. Ulf Lewrick & José María Serena Garralda & Grant Turner, 2019. "Believing in bail-in? Market discipline and the pricing of bail-in bonds," BIS Working Papers 831, Bank for International Settlements.
    3. Luna Azahara Romo González, 2016. "The drivers of European banks’ US dollar debt issuance: opportunistic funding in times of crisis?," Working Papers 1611, Banco de España.
    4. Ahnert, Toni & Anand, Kartik & Gai, Prasanna & Chapman, James, 2015. "Safe, or not safe? Covered bonds and Bank Fragility," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112875, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Adrian Van Rixtel & Luna Romo González & Jing Yang, 2015. "The determinants of long-term debt issuance by European banks: evidence of two crises," BIS Working Papers 513, Bank for International Settlements.
    6. Patrycja Chodnicka Jaworska, "undated". "Prediction Of Banking Sector Condition," Review of Socio - Economic Perspectives 201703, Reviewsep.
    7. Claire-Océane Chevallier, 2017. "Empirical Investigation of the Effect of Bank Long Term Debt on Loans and Output in the Euro-zone," DEM Discussion Paper Series 17-04, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.
    8. Vanesa Llorens & Alfredo Martin-Oliver, 2017. "Determinants of bank’s financing choices under capital regulation," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 287-309, August.
    9. Eyollan Naidoo & Mukelani Nkuna & Daan Steenkamp, 2020. "Working Paper WP2010 Developments in debt issuance costs of South African banks," Working Papers 10157, South African Reserve Bank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bank funding; bond issuance; banking crisis; Europe;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance

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