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Do Negative Interest Rates Affect Bank Risk-Taking?

Author

Listed:
  • AAlessio Reghezza

    () (Bangor University)

  • Jonathan Williams

    () (Bangor University)

  • Alessio Bongiovanni

    () (University of Turin)

  • Riccardo Santamaria

    () (Sapienza – University of Rome)

Abstract

We offer early evidence on how negative interest rate policy affects bank risk-taking. We identify a dichotomy between monetary policy and prudential regulation. Our primary result suggests NIRP produced an unintended outcome, which we measure as a 10 per cent reduction in banks’ holdings of risky assets. It infers that banks deleverage their balance sheets and invest in safer, liquid assets to meet new and binding capital and liquidity requirements. We find risk-taking behaviour is sensitive to capitalisation and banks with stronger capital ratios take more risks. Similarly, tighter prudential requirements could inadvertently retard economic growth should poorly capitalised banks reduce investment in riskier assets in favour of zero risk-weighted assets, such as, sovereign bonds to comply with risk-based capital requirements. Risk-taking is greater in less competitive markets because stronger market power insulates net interest margins and profitability. We obtain our results from a sample of 2,371 banks from 33 OECD countries between 2012 and 2016, and a difference-in-differences framework.

Suggested Citation

  • AAlessio Reghezza & Jonathan Williams & Alessio Bongiovanni & Riccardo Santamaria, 2019. "Do Negative Interest Rates Affect Bank Risk-Taking?," Working Papers 19012, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
  • Handle: RePEc:bng:wpaper:19012
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    File URL: https://www.bangor.ac.uk/business/research/documents/BBSWP-19-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    NIRP; Bank risk-taking; Monetary Policy; Difference-in-Differences; Propensity-Score-Matching.;

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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