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Banks' Credit-Portfolio Choices and Risk-Based Capital Regulation

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    To address banks’ risk taking during the recent financial crisis, we develop a model of credit-portfolio optimization and study the impact of risk-based capital regulation (Basel Accords) on banks’ asset allocations. The model shows that, when a bank’s capital is constrained by regulation, regulatory cost (risk weightings in the Basel Accords) alters the risk and value calculations for the bank’s assets. The model predicts that the effect of a tightening of the capital requirements – for banks for which these requirements are (will become) binding – will be to skew the risky portfolio towards high-risk, high-earning assets (low-risk, low-earning assets), provided that the asset valuation – i.e., reward-to-regulatory-cost ratio – of the high-risk asset is higher than that of the low-risk asset. Empirical examination of U.S. banks supports the predictions applicable to the dataset. In addition, our tests show the characteristics of banks with different levels of risk taking. In particular, the core banks that use the internal ratings-based approach under Basel II invest more in high-risk assets.

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    File URL: http://project.nek.lu.se/publications/workpap/papers/wp16_9.pdf
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    Paper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2016:9.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: 13 Jun 2016
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2016_009
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden

    Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
    Fax: +46 +46 2224613
    Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/en

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    1. Milne, Alistair, 2002. "Bank capital regulation as an incentive mechanism: Implications for portfolio choice," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-23, January.
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    10. Bawa, Vijay S. & Lindenberg, Eric B., 1977. "Abstract: Capital Market Equilibrium in a Mean-Lower Partial Moment Framework," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(04), pages 635-635, November.
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    12. Bawa, Vijay S. & Lindenberg, Eric B., 1977. "Capital market equilibrium in a mean-lower partial moment framework," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 189-200, November.
    13. VanHoose, David, 2007. "Theories of bank behavior under capital regulation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 3680-3697, December.
    14. Furlong, Frederick T. & Keeley, Michael C., 1989. "Capital regulation and bank risk-taking: A note," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 883-891, December.
    15. Crouhy, Michel & Galai, Dan & Mark, Robert, 2000. "A comparative analysis of current credit risk models," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 59-117, January.
    16. Rudi Zagst & Jan Kehrbaum & Bernd Schmid, 2003. "Portfolio Optimization Under Credit Risk," Computational Statistics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 317-338, September.
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