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The leverage ratio, risk-taking and bank stability

Author

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  • Smith, Jonathan Acosta
  • Grill, Michael
  • Lang, Jan Hannes

Abstract

This paper addresses the tradeoff 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 and therefore increased lossabsorbing capacity, 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. JEL Classification: G01, G21, G28

Suggested Citation

  • Smith, Jonathan Acosta & Grill, Michael & Lang, Jan Hannes, 2017. "The leverage ratio, risk-taking and bank stability," Working Paper Series 2079, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20172079
    Note: 1280809
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keeley, Michael C. & Furlong, Frederick T., 1990. "A reexamination of mean-variance analysis of bank capital regulation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 69-84, March.
    2. Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2012. "Credit Booms Gone Bust: Monetary Policy, Leverage Cycles, and Financial Crises, 1870-2008," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1029-1061, April.
    3. Rime, Bertrand, 2001. "Capital requirements and bank behaviour: Empirical evidence for Switzerland," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 789-805, April.
    4. Lang, Jan Hannes & Peltonen, Tuomas A. & Sarlin, Peter, 2018. "A framework for early-warning modeling with an application to banks," Working Paper Series 2182, European Central Bank.
    5. de-Ramon, Sebastian J A & Francis, William & Harris, Qun, 2016. "Bank capital requirements and balance sheet management practices: has the relationship changed after the crisis?," Bank of England working papers 635, Bank of England.
    6. Kiema, Ilkka & Jokivuolle, Esa, 2014. "Does a leverage ratio requirement increase bank stability?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 240-254.
    7. van den Berg, Jeroen & Candelon, Bertrand & Urbain, Jean-Pierre, 2008. "A cautious note on the use of panel models to predict financial crises," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 80-83, October.
    8. Aggarwal, Raj & Jacques, Kevin T., 2001. "The impact of FDICIA and prompt corrective action on bank capital and risk: Estimates using a simultaneous equations model," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1139-1160, June.
    9. Anat Admati & Martin Hellwig, 2013. "The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9929, December.
    10. Michael Brei & Leonardo Gambacorta, 2016. "Are bank capital ratios pro-cyclical? New evidence and perspectives," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 31(86), pages 357-403.
    11. Kevin C. Murdock & Thomas F. Hellmann & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2000. "Liberalization, Moral Hazard in Banking, and Prudential Regulation: Are Capital Requirements Enough?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 147-165, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Van Horen, Neeltje & Kotidis, Antonis, 2018. "Repo market functioning: the role of capital regulation," Bank of England working papers 746, Bank of England.
    2. 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.
    3. Müller, Carola, 2018. "Basel III capital requirements and heterogeneous banks," IWH Discussion Papers 14/2018, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    4. Ranaldo, Angelo & Schaffner, Patrick & Vasios, Michalis, 2019. "Regulatory effects on short-term interest rates," Bank of England working papers 801, Bank of England.
    5. Aikman, David & Haldane, Andrew & Hinterschweiger, Marc & Kapadia, Sujit, 2018. "Rethinking financial stability," Bank of England working papers 712, Bank of England.
    6. repec:fip:fednep:00050 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:1259-:d:142120 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Choi, Dong Beom & Holcomb, Michael R. & Morgan, Donald P., 2018. "Bank leverage limits and regulatory arbitrage: new evidence on a recurring question," Staff Reports 856, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 Nov 2018.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bank capital; Basel III; leverage ratio; risk-taking;

    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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