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Interest rate risk and bank equity valuations


  • William B. English
  • Skander J. van den Heuvel
  • Egon Zakrajsek


Because they engage in maturity transformation, a steepening of the yield curve should, all else equal, boost bank profitability. We re-examine this conventional wisdom by estimating the reaction of bank intraday stock returns to exogenous fluctuations in interest rates induced by monetary policy announcements. We construct a new measure of the mismatch between the repricing time or maturity of bank assets and liabilities and analyze how the reaction of stock returns varies with the size of this mismatch and other bank characteristics, including the usage of interest rate derivatives. Our results indicate that bank stock prices decline substantially following an unanticipated increase in the level of interest rates or a steepening of the yield curve. A large maturity gap, however, significantly attenuates the negative reaction of returns to a slope surprise, a result consistent with the role of banks as maturity transformers. Share prices of banks that rely heavily on core deposits decline more in response to policy-induced interest rate surprises, a reaction that primarily reflects ensuing deposit disintermediation. Results using income and balance sheet data highlight the importance of adjustments in quantities--as well as interest margins--for understanding the reaction of bank equity values to interest rate surprises.

Suggested Citation

  • William B. English & Skander J. van den Heuvel & Egon Zakrajsek, 2012. "Interest rate risk and bank equity valuations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-26, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2012-26

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thorbecke, Willem, 1997. " On Stock Market Returns and Monetary Policy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 635-654, June.
    2. João F. Gomes & Leonid Kogan & Motohiro Yogo, 2009. "Durability of Output and Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(5), pages 941-986.
    3. Memmel, Christoph, 2011. "Banks' exposure to interest rate risk, their earnings from term transformation, and the dynamics of the term structure," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 282-289, February.
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    9. Arellano, Manuel, 2003. "Panel Data Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199245291, June.
    10. John Ammer & Clara Vega & Jon Wongswan, 2010. "International Transmission of U.S. Monetary Policy Shocks: Evidence from Stock Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(s1), pages 179-198, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mun, Kyung-Chun, 2016. "Hedging bank market risk with futures and forwards," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 112-125.
    2. Sebastian Di Tella & Pablo Kurlat, 2017. "Why are Banks Exposed to Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 24076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Galen Sher & Giuseppe Loiacono, 2013. "Maturity Transformation and Interest Rate Risk in Large European Bank Loan Portfolios," EcoMod2013 5442, EcoMod.
    4. Kiley, Michael T., 2016. "Monetary policy statements, treasury yields, and private yields: Before and after the zero lower bound," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 285-290.
    5. Entrop, O. & von la Hausse, L. & Wilkens, M., 2017. "Looking beyond banks’ average interest rate risk: Determinants of high exposures," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 204-218.
    6. Borio, Claudio & Gambacorta, Leonardo, 2017. "Monetary policy and bank lending in a low interest rate environment: Diminishing effectiveness?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 54(PB), pages 217-231.
    7. Covas, Francisco B. & Rump, Ben & Zakrajšek, Egon, 2014. "Stress-testing US bank holding companies: A dynamic panel quantile regression approach," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 691-713.
    8. repec:eee:jbfina:v:87:y:2018:i:c:p:164-186 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ramona Busch & Christoph Memmel, 2016. "Quantifying the components of the banks’ net interest margin," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 30(4), pages 371-396, November.
    10. Claessens, Stijn & Coleman, Nicholas & Donnelly, Michael, 2017. ""Low-For-Long� Interest Rates and Banks' Interest Margins and Profitability: Cross-Country Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 11842, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Foos, Daniel & Lütkebohmert, Eva & Markovych, Mariia & Pliszka, Kamil, 2017. "Euro area banks' interest rate risk exposure to level, slope and curvature swings in the yield curve," Discussion Papers 24/2017, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    12. Raymond Chaudron, 2016. "Bank profitability and risk taking in a prolonged environment of low interest rates: a study of interest rate risk in the banking book of Dutch banks," DNB Working Papers 526, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    13. Mark Iarovyi & sasson Bar Yosef & Itzhak Venezia, 2017. "Implied Maturity Mismatches and Investor Disagreement," Proceedings of Economics and Finance Conferences 4507072, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.

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    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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