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Capital regulation and banks' financial decisions


  • Haibin Zhu


This paper develops a stochastic dynamic model to examine the impact of capital regulation on banks' financial decisions. In equilibrium, lending decisions, capital buffer and the probability of bank failure are endogenously determined. Compared to a flat-rate capital rule, a risk-sensitive capital standard causes the capital requirement to be much higher for small (and riskier) banks and much lower for large (and less risky) banks. Nevertheless, changes in actual capital holdings are less pronounced due to the offsetting effect of capital buffers. Moreover, the non-binding capital constraint in equilibrium implies that banks adopt an active portfolio strategy and hence the counter-cyclical movement of risk-based capital requirements does not necessarily lead to a reinforcement of the credit cycle. In fact, the results from the calibrated model show that the impact on cyclical lending behavior differs substantially across banks. Lastly, the analysis suggests that the adoption of a more risk-sensitive capital regime can be welfare-improving from a regulator's perspective, in that it causes less distortion in loan decisions and achieves a better balance between safety and efficiency.

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  • Haibin Zhu, 2007. "Capital regulation and banks' financial decisions," BIS Working Papers 232, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:232

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heid, Frank, 2005. "Cyclical implications of minimum capital requirements," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2005,06, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    2. Segoviano, Miguel A. & Lowe, Philip, 2002. "Internal ratings, the business cycle and capital requirements: some evidence from an emerging market economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24948, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, July.
    4. Jacob A. Bikker & Paul A. J. Metzemakers, 2007. "Is Bank Capital Procyclical? A Cross-Country Analysis," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 40(2), pages 225-264.
    5. Koopman, Siem Jan & Lucas, Andre & Klaassen, Pieter, 2005. "Empirical credit cycles and capital buffer formation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(12), pages 3159-3179, December.
    6. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Marquez, Robert, 2006. "Competition among regulators and credit market integration," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 401-430, February.
    7. Claudio Borio & Craig Furfine & Philip Lowe, 2001. "Procyclicality of the financial system and financial stability: issues and policy options," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Marrying the macro- and micro-prudential dimensions of financial stability, volume 1, pages 1-57 Bank for International Settlements.
    8. Peura, Samu & Jokivuolle, Esa, 2004. "Simulation based stress tests of banks' regulatory capital adequacy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1801-1824, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ines Drumond, 2009. "Bank Capital Requirements, Business Cycle Fluctuations And The Basel Accords: A Synthesis," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(5), pages 798-830, December.
    2. Jokivuolle, Esa & Kiema, Ilkka & Vesala, Timo, 2009. "Credit allocation, capital requirements and procyclicality," Research Discussion Papers 23/2009, Bank of Finland.
    3. Borio, Claudio & Zhu, Haibin, 2012. "Capital regulation, risk-taking and monetary policy: A missing link in the transmission mechanism?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 236-251.
    4. repec:prg:jnlpep:v:preprint:id:631:p:1-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Tsai, Jeng-Yan, 2013. "Optimal bank interest margins under capital regulation in a call-option utility framework," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 557-565.
    6. Tirupam Goel, 2016. "Banking industry dynamics and size-dependent capital regulation," BIS Working Papers 599, Bank for International Settlements.
    7. Jokivuolle, Esa & Vesala, Timo, 2007. "Portfolio effects and efficiency of lending under Basel II," Research Discussion Papers 13/2007, Bank of Finland.

    More about this item


    Capital requirement; economic capital; regulatory capital; actual capital holding; procyclicality effect; dynamic programming; prudential regulation;

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