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Derivatives, Portfolio Composition and Bank Holding Company Interest Rate Risk Exposure

  • Beverly J. Hirtle

This paper examines the role played by derivatives in determining the interest rate sensitivity of bank holding companies' (BHCs') common stock, controlling for the influence of on-balance sheet activities and other bank-specific characteristics. The major result of the analysis suggests that derivatives have played a significant role in shaping banks' interest rate risk exposures in recent years. For the typical bank holding company in the sample, increases in the use of interest rate derivatives corresponded to greater interest rate risk exposure during the 1991-94 period. This relationship is particularly strong for bank holding companies that serve as derivatives dealers and for smaller, enduser BHCs. During earlier years, however, there is no significant relationship between the extent of derivatives activities and interest rate risk exposure. There are two plausible interpretations of the relationship between interest rate derivative activity and interest rate risk exposure in the latter part of the sample period: one interpretation suggests that derivatives tend to enhance interest rate risk exposure for the typical BHC in the sample, while the other suggests that derivatives may be used to partially offset high interest rate risk exposures arising from other activities. The analysis provides support for the first of these two interpretations. This paper was presented at the Financial Institutions Center's October 1996 conference on "

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Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 96-43.

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Date of creation: Nov 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:96-43
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  1. Elijah Brewer, III & William E. Jackson, III & James T. Moser, 1996. "Alligators in the swamp: the impact of derivatives on the financial performance of depository institutions," Working Paper Series, Issues in Financial Regulation WP-96-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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  10. Jongmoo Jay Choi & Elyas Elyasiani, 1996. "Derivative Exposure and the Interest Rate and Exchange Rate Risks of U.S. Banks," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-53, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  11. Flannery, Mark J & James, Christopher M, 1984. " The Effect of Interest Rate Changes on the Common Stock Returns of Financial Institutions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1141-53, September.
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