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Euro area shadow banking activities in a low-interest-rate environment: A flow-of-funds perspective

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  • Beck, Günter Wilfried
  • Kotz, Hans-Helmut

Abstract

Very low policy rates as well as the substantial redesign of rules and supervisory institutions have changed background conditions for the Euro Area's financial intermediary sector substantially. Both policy initiatives have been targeted at improving societal welfare. And their potential side effects (or costs) have been discussed intensively, in academic as well as policy circles. Very low policy rates (and correspondingly low market rates) are likely to whet investors' risk taking incentives. Concurrently, the tightened regulatory framework, in particular for banks, increases the comparative attractiveness of the less regulated, so-called shadow banking sector. Employing flow-of-funds data for the Euro Area's non-bank banking sector we take stock of recent developments in this part of the financial sector. In addition, we examine to which extent low interest rates have had an impact on investment behavior. Our results reveal a declining role of banks (and, simultaneously, an increase in non-bank banking). Overall intermediation activity, hence, has remained roughly at the same level. Moreover, our findings also suggest that non-bank banks have tended to take positions in riskier assets (particularly in equities). In line with this observation, balance-sheet based risk measures indicate a rise in sector-specific risks in the non-bank banking sector (when narrowly defined).

Suggested Citation

  • Beck, Günter Wilfried & Kotz, Hans-Helmut, 2016. "Euro area shadow banking activities in a low-interest-rate environment: A flow-of-funds perspective," SAFE White Paper Series 37, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:safewh:37
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    Cited by:

    1. Hodula, Martin & Melecky, Ales & Machacek, Martin, 2020. "Off the radar: Factors behind the growth of shadow banking in Europe," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 44(3).
    2. Martin Hodula, 2018. "Off the Radar: Exploring the Rise of Shadow Banking in the EU," Working Papers 2018/16, Czech National Bank.
    3. Martin Hodula, 2019. "Monetary Policy and Shadow Banking: Trapped between a Rock and a Hard Place," Working Papers 2019/5, Czech National Bank.

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