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Life below zero: bank lending under negative policy rates

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  • Heider, Florian
  • Saidi, Farzad
  • Schepens, Glenn

Abstract

We show that negative policy rates affect the supply of bank credit in a novel way. Banks are reluctant to pass on negative rates to depositors, which increases the funding cost of high-deposit banks, and reduces their net worth, relative to low-deposit banks. As a consequence, the introduction of negative policy rates by the European Central Bank in mid-2014 leads to more risk taking and less lending by euro-area banks with greater reliance on deposit funding. Our results suggest that negative rates are less accommodative, and could pose a risk to financial stability, if lending is done by high-deposit banks. JEL Classification: E44, E52, E58, G20, G21

Suggested Citation

  • Heider, Florian & Saidi, Farzad & Schepens, Glenn, 2018. "Life below zero: bank lending under negative policy rates," Working Paper Series 2173, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20182173
    Note: 276127
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bank balance-sheet channel; bank risk-taking channel; deposits; negative interest rates; zero lower bound;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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