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Back-testing European stress tests


  • B. Camara
  • P. Pessarossi
  • T. Philippon


We provide a first evaluation of the quality of banking stress tests in the European Union. We use stress tests scenarios and banks’ estimated losses to recover bank level exposures to macroeconomic factors. Once macro outcomes are realized, we predict banks’ losses and compare them to actual losses. We find that stress tests are informative. Model-based losses are good predictors of realized losses and of banks’ equity returns around announcements of macroeconomic news. When we perform our tests for the Union as a whole, we do not detect biases in the construction of the scenarios, or in the estimated losses across banks of different sizes and ownership structures. There is, however, some evidence that exposures are underestimated in countries with ex-ante weaker banking systems. Our results have implications for the modeling of credit losses, quality controls of supervision, and the political economy of financial regulation.

Suggested Citation

  • B. Camara & P. Pessarossi & T. Philippon, 2017. "Back-testing European stress tests," Débats économiques et financiers 26, Banque de France.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:decfin:26

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    Cited by:

    1. Cecilia Parlatore, 2018. "Designing Stress Scenarios," 2018 Meeting Papers 1090, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Stéphane Loisel, 2014. "Reevaluation of the capital charge in insurance after a large shock: empirical and theoretical views," Post-Print hal-02013669, HAL.
    3. Ahnert, Lukas & Vogt, Pascal & Vonhoff, Volker & Weigert, Florian, 2020. "Regulatory stress testing and bank performance," CFR Working Papers 20-03, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    4. Niepmann, Friederike & Stebunovs, Viktors, 2018. "Modeling Your Stress Away," CEPR Discussion Papers 12624, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Stéphane Loisel, 2014. "Reevaluation of the capital charge in insurance after a large shock: empirical and theoretical views," Post-Print hal-02013669, HAL.
    6. Robert McKeown, 2017. "How Vulnerable Is The Canadian Banking System To Fire-sales?," Working Paper 1381, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    7. Sahin, Cenkhan & de Haan, Jakob & Neretina, Ekaterina, 2020. "Banking stress test effects on returns and risks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 117(C).
    8. Aurélien Violon & Dominique Durant & Oana Toader, 2017. "The Impact of the Identification of GSIBs on their Business Model," Débats économiques et financiers 33, Banque de France.
    9. Haselmann, Rainer & Wahrenburg, Mark, 2018. "How demanding and consistent is the 2018 stress test design in comparison to previous exercises? Banking union scrutiny," SAFE White Paper Series 54, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    10. Wang, Zheqi & Crook, Jonathan & Andreeva, Galina, 2020. "Reducing estimation risk using a Bayesian posterior distribution approach: Application to stress testing mortgage loan default," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 287(2), pages 725-738.
    11. Ramadiah, Amanah & Fricke, Daniel & Caccioli, Fabio, 2020. "Backtesting macroprudential stress tests," Discussion Papers 45/2020, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    12. 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


    stress test; credit losses; back-testing.;

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions

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