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The impact of the sovereign debt crisis on the activity of Italian banks

Author

Listed:
  • Ugo Albertazzi

    (Banca d'Italia)

  • Tiziano Ropele

    (Banca d'Italia)

  • Gabriele Sene

    (Banca d'Italia)

  • Federico M. Signoretti

    (Banca d'Italia)

Abstract

We assess the effects of the sovereign debt crisis on Italian banks� activity using aggregate data on funding and loan rates, lending quantities and income statements for the period 1991-2011. We augment standard reduced-form equations for the variables of interest with the spread on 10-year sovereign bonds as an additional explanatory variable. We find that, even when controlling for the standard economic variables that influence bank activity, a rise in the spread is followed by an increase in the cost of wholesale and of certain forms of retail funding for banks and in the cost of credit to firms and households; the impact tends to be larger during periods of financial turmoil. An increase in the spread also has a direct negative effect on lending growth, beyond that implied by the rise in lending rates. Finally, we document a negative impact of the spread on banks� profitability, stronger for larger intermediaries.

Suggested Citation

  • Ugo Albertazzi & Tiziano Ropele & Gabriele Sene & Federico M. Signoretti, 2012. "The impact of the sovereign debt crisis on the activity of Italian banks," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 133, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_133_12
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sovereign spread; bank loan rates; bank lending;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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