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Relationships between bank customers’ risk attitudes and their balance sheets

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  • Hermansson, Cecilia

    () (Department of Real Estate and Construction Management, Royal Institute of Technology)

Abstract

This paper analyzes relationships between Swedish bank customers’ risk appetite and their financial assets and debt, controlling for demographic, socio-economic, financial and educational variables including financial literacy. We use subjective risk measures, i.e. risk tolerance and risk preference, as well as an objective risk measure, i.e. relating customers’ saving deposits to more risky stocks and mutual funds as a share of total financial assets. Bank customers with high risk appetite have significantly more financial assets compared with those with medium and low risk appetite. The subjective risk measures show that those with high risk appetite have significantly higher debt than those with low risk appetite. The objective risk measure shows the opposite. The paper concludes that it is important to use several measures of risk. Also, policy makers and banks need to measure bank customers’ risk appetite in a more systematic and transparent way, in order to improve both the banks’ and their customers’ risk management, and not less importantly, to decrease macroeconomic risks.

Suggested Citation

  • Hermansson, Cecilia, 2016. "Relationships between bank customers’ risk attitudes and their balance sheets," Working Paper Series 15/12, Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Real Estate and Construction Management & Banking and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:kthrec:2015_012
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Household saving; debt; risk attitudes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • 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

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