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Interest rate pass-through and risk


  • Iris Biefang Frisancho-Mariscal

    (University of the West of England, Bristol)

  • Peter Howells

    () (University of the West of England, Bristol)


One of the most striking features of the financial crisis that began in the autumn of 2007 has been the associated upheaval in conventional interest rate spreads. In the UK, this is most frequently symbolised by the widening (and increased volatility) of the spread between 3-month Libor and the Bank of England’s policy rate. This paper uses a vector error correction model to look at the way in which the recent crisis has affected a wide range of interest rate spreads. We look for changes in the coefficient on the policy rate (the ‘pass-through’) and at changes in the speed of adjustment to changes in the policy rate, since both are important for policy. We find, as others have done, that the conventional behaviour of almost all spreads is swept away after August 2007. By developing a model which incorporates measures of counterparty and liquidity risk, we show that market rates are now subject to additional influences, but except for secured loans, still incorporate the effects of changes in the policy rate much as they did before the crisis. This contrasts with the widely-held view that the relationship between policy and money market rates in particular has been severely disrupted by the crisis. For secured loans, however, there is evidence that the mark-up has risen while at the same time the policy pass-through has fallen since August 2007. The same applies to deposit rates, albeit to a lesser extent, with the result that the sharp reduction in policy rate since the end of 2007 has had a larger effect on deposit than loan rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Iris Biefang Frisancho-Mariscal & Peter Howells, 2010. "Interest rate pass-through and risk," Working Papers 1016, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwe:wpaper:1016

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michiel van Leuvensteijn & Christoffer Kok Sørensen & Jacob A. Bikker & Adrian A.R.J.M. van Rixtel, 2013. "Impact of bank competition on the interest rate pass-through in the euro area," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(11), pages 1359-1380, April.
    2. Maudos, Joaquin & Fernandez de Guevara, Juan, 2004. "Factors explaining the interest margin in the banking sectors of the European Union," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 2259-2281, September.
    3. Søren Johansen & Rocco Mosconi & Bent Nielsen, 2000. "Cointegration analysis in the presence of structural breaks in the deterministic trend," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 3(2), pages 216-249.
    4. Mathias Drehmann & Steffen Sorensen & Marco Stringa, 2008. "The integrated impact of credit and interest rate risk on banks: an economic value and capital adequacy perspective," Bank of England working papers 339, Bank of England.
    5. Button, Richard & Pezzini, Silvia & Rossiter, Neil, 2010. "Understanding the price of new lending to households," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 50(3), pages 172-182.
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    More about this item


    intrest rates; risk; VAR; Financial crisis;

    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
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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