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Cyclical implications of minimum capital requirements


  • Heid, Frank


Capital requirements play a key role in the supervision and regulation of banks. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is now changing the current framework by introducing risk-sensitive capital charges. There have been concerns that this will unduly increase volatility in the banks' capital. Furthermore, when the credit supply is rationed, capital requirements may exacerbate an economic downturn. We examine the problem of cyclicality in a macroeconomic model which explicitly takes regulatory constraints into account. We find that the capital buffer which banks hold on top of the required minimum plays a crucial role in mitigating the volatility in capital requirements. Therefore, despite the fact that capital charges may vary significantly over time, the effects on the macroeconomy will be moderate.

Suggested Citation

  • Heid, Frank, 2005. "Cyclical implications of minimum capital requirements," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2005,06, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp2:4261

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Falko Fecht & Kevin X. D. Huang & Antoine Martin, 2008. "Financial Intermediaries, Markets, and Growth," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(4), pages 701-720, June.
    2. Hamerle, Alfred & Liebig, Thilo & Scheule, Harald, 2004. "Forecasting Credit Portfolio Risk," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2004,01, Deutsche Bundesbank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rodrigo Alfaro & Andrés Sagner, 2011. "Stress Tests for Banking Sector: A Technical Note," Money Affairs, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(2), pages 143-162, July-Dece.
    2. Ojo, Marianne, 2010. "The impact of capital and disclosure requirements on risks and risk taking incentives," MPRA Paper 20404, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Gander, James P., 2013. "Integrating bank profit and risk-avoidance decisions for selected European countries: A micro–macro analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 717-722.
    4. Sherene A. Bailey-Tapper, 2011. "Investigating the Link between Bank Capital & Economic Activity: Evidence on Jamaican Panel," Money Affairs, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(2), pages 163-188, July-Dece.
    5. Haibin Zhu, 2007. "Capital regulation and banks' financial decisions," BIS Working Papers 232, Bank for International Settlements.
    6. José Eduardo Gómez-González & Nidia Ruth Reyes, 2011. "Firm Failure and Relation Lending: New Evidence from Small Businesses," Money Affairs, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(2), pages 123-141, July-Dece.

    More about this item


    minimum capital requirements; regulatory capital; economic capital; capital buffer; pro-cyclicality; business cycle; bank lending channel;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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