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Prudential filters, portfolio composition and capital ratios in European banks

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  • I. Argimon
  • M. Dietsch
  • A. Estrada

Abstract

European banks hold 10% of their total assets in portfolios that give rise to unrealised gains and losses which under Basel III will no longer be allowed to be excluded from banks’ regulatory capital. Using a sample of European banks, and taking advantage of the different regulatory treatments that are allowed, under Basel II, to account for such gains and losses among jurisdictions and instruments and over time, we find evidence that: a) the inclusion of unrealised gains and losses in capital ratios increases their volatility; b) the partial inclusion of unrealised gains and total inclusion of losses on fixed-income securities in regulatory capital, compared with the complete exclusion of both (or “neutralization”), reduces the volume of securities categorised as Available For Sale (AFS), thus potentially affecting liquidity management and demand for bonds (most of which are currently government bonds); and c) the higher the partial inclusion of gains from debt instruments, the lower the holdings of such instruments in the AFS category and the higher the regulatory Tier 1 capital ratio, thus affecting banks’ capital buffer strategy. We do not find evidence that the absence of neutralisation would impact capital ratios.

Suggested Citation

  • I. Argimon & M. Dietsch & A. Estrada, 2016. "Prudential filters, portfolio composition and capital ratios in European banks," Débats économiques et financiers 22, Banque de France.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:decfin:22
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena, 2008. "Mark-to-market accounting and liquidity pricing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 358-378, August.
    2. Borio, Claudio & Tsatsaronis, Kostas, 2004. "Accounting and prudential regulation: from uncomfortable bedfellows to perfect partners?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 111-135, September.
    3. Barth, Mary E. & Gomez-Biscarri, Javier & Kasznik, Ron & Lopez-Espinosa, German, 2014. "Bank Earnings and Regulatory Capital Management Using Available for Sale Securities," Research Papers 3047, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    4. Justin Chircop & Zoltán Novotny-Farkas, 2014. "The economic consequences of including fair value adjustments to shareholders’ equity in regulatory capital calculations," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1426, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabrice Borel-Mathurin & Stéphane Loisel & Johan Segers, 2017. "Re-evaluation of the capital charge in insurance after a large shock: empirical and theoretical views," EIOPA Financial Stability Report - Thematic Articles 10, EIOPA, Risks and Financial Stability Department.
    2. J. Hombert & V. Lyonnet, 2017. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing in Life Insurance: Evidence from France," Débats économiques et financiers 30, Banque de France.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank capital ratios; Bank regulation; Fair Value Accounting; Prudential Filters.;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

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