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The leverage ratio, risk-taking and bank stability

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  • Acosta-Smith, Jonathan

    (Bank of England)

  • Grill, Michael

    (European Central Bank)

  • Lang, Jan Hannes

    (European Central Bank)

Abstract

This paper addresses the trade-off between additional loss-absorbing capacity and potentially higher bank risk-taking associated with the introduction of the Basel III leverage ratio. This is addressed in both a theoretical and empirical setting. Using a theoretical micro model, we show that a leverage ratio requirement can incentivise banks that are bound by it to increase their risk-taking. This increase in risk-taking however, should be more than outweighed by the benefits of higher capital, thereby leading to more stable banks. These theoretical predictions are tested and confirmed in an empirical analysis on a large sample of EU banks. Our baseline empirical model suggests that a leverage ratio requirement would lead to a significant decline in the distress probability of highly leveraged banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Acosta-Smith, Jonathan & Grill, Michael & Lang, Jan Hannes, 2018. "The leverage ratio, risk-taking and bank stability," Bank of England working papers 766, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0766
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    3. Lukas Pfeifer, 2021. "Usability of capital buffers under a binding leverage ratio requirement," Occasional Publications - Chapters in Edited Volumes,, Czech National Bank.
    4. Atiti, Faith & Agung, Raphael & Kimani, Stephanie, 2020. "Competition and banking sector stability in Kenya," KBA Centre for Research on Financial Markets and Policy Working Paper Series 41, Kenya Bankers Association (KBA).
    5. Bicu-Lieb, Andreea & Chen, Louisa & Elliott, David, 2020. "The leverage ratio and liquidity in the gilt and gilt repo markets," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 48(C).
    6. Müller, Carola, 2022. "Capital requirements, market structure, and heterogeneous banks," IWH Discussion Papers 15/2022, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    7. Bicu, Andreea & Chen, Louisa & Elliott, David, 2017. "The leverage ratio and liquidity in the gilt and repo markets," Bank of England working papers 690, Bank of England, revised 19 Dec 2017.
    8. Müller, Carola, 2018. "Basel III capital requirements and heterogeneous banks," IWH Discussion Papers 14/2018, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    9. Ranaldo, Angelo & Schaffner, Patrick & Vasios, Michalis, 2021. "Regulatory effects on short-term interest rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 750-770.
    10. Mariña Martínez-Malvar & Laura Baselga-Pascual, 2020. "Bank Risk Determinants in Latin America," Risks, MDPI, vol. 8(3), pages 1-20, September.
    11. Aikman, David & Haldane, Andrew & Hinterschweiger, Marc & Kapadia, Sujit, 2018. "Rethinking financial stability," Bank of England working papers 712, Bank of England.
    12. van der Plaat, Mark & Spierdijk, Laura, 2020. "Recourse, asymmetric information, and credit risk over the business cycle," MPRA Paper 104718, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Raphaël Cardot-Martin & Fabien Labondance & Catherine Refait-Alexandre, 2021. "Capital ratios and banking crises in the European Union," Working Papers 2021-05, CRESE.
    14. Thomas Richter, 2021. "Central Counterparties and Liquidity Provision in Cash Markets," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 14(12), pages 1-26, December.
    15. Martynova, Natalya & Vogel, Ursula, 2022. "Banks’ complexity-risk nexus and the role of regulation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    16. Richard K. Crump & João A. C. Santos, 2018. "Review of New York Fed studies on the effects of post-crisis banking reforms," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue 24-2, pages 71-90.
    17. Pilar Gómez-Fernández-Aguado & Purificación Parrado-Martínez & Antonio Partal-Ureña, 2018. "Risk Profile Indicators and Spanish Banks’ Probability of Default from a Regulatory Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(4), pages 1-16, April.
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    19. Dong Beom Choi & Michael R. Holcomb & Donald P. Morgan, 2018. "Bank leverage limits and regulatory arbitrage: new evidence on a recurring question," Staff Reports 856, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank capital; risk-taking; leverage ratio; Basel III;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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