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Cyclical Implications of Changing Bank Capital Requirements. Mario Catalán* International Monetary Fund (IMF) Prepared for the IADB - Atlanta Fed Conference “Toward Better Banking in Latin America” Washington D.C, September 30, 2005

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Cyclical Implications of Changing Bank Capital Requirements

Mario Catalán*

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Prepared for the IADB - Atlanta Fed Conference“Toward Better Banking in Latin America”

Washington D.C, September 30, 2005

* The views expressed in this presentation are those of the author and should not be attributed to the International Monetary Fund, its Executive Board, or its management.

introduction
Introduction
  • Question:How should regulators set bank capital requirements in different phases of the business cycle?
  • Widespread (standard) view:

Bank capital requirements should be loosened during recessions and tightened during expansions to avoid excessive credit and output fluctuations (pro-cyclicality)

standard view

Assets

Liabilities

Assets

Liabilities

Loans

Capital

Loan write-offs

Loans

Capital

Deposits

Deposits

Cash

Cash

CAR > 0.08

CAR < 0.08

Capital

Loans

Capital

CAR =

Risk-weighted assets

Cash

Deposits

CAR = 0.08

Standard View
  • Effects of recession:
  • Bank’s initial balance sheet:
  • To satisfy the capital requirement ... further loan reductions
  • Amplification of the credit crunch and the recession
standard view1
Standard View
  • Policy prescription:Capital requirements should be reduced in recessions—in response to loan write-offs

Drawbacks

  • Bank insolvencies are more likely (fiscal costs, deposit insurance losses)
  • It ignores the effects of capital requirement policies on the consumption-saving decisions of households
our paper

Capital Requirements

Assets

Liabilities

Loans

Capital

Households’Savings

Deposits

Output

Our Paper
  • Focus:effects of capital requirement policies on the (inter-temporal) consumption-saving decisions of households
  • Findings:
    • Capital requirements should be increased in response to negative loan supply shocks (loan write-offs).
    • This policy provides stronger incentives to save and allows a more rapid recovery of bank loans and output.
impact effects of increasing capital requirements
“Impact” Effects of Increasing Capital Requirements

Equity-DepositSpread

Equity-DepositSpread

c0

c0

c1

c1

Deposits

Bank Equity

unanticipated and permanent reduction in productivity in unrestricted u and restricted r models
Unanticipated and Permanent Reduction in Productivity in Unrestricted (U) and Restricted (R) Models
unanticipated and permanent reduction in productivity in unrestricted u and restricted r models1
Unanticipated and Permanent Reduction in Productivity in Unrestricted (U) and Restricted (R) Models
  • Findings:
    • Capital requirements should be lowered in response to negative productivity (loan demand) shocks.
    • This policy amplifies the output decline but enhances welfare by releasing deposit liquidity, thus facilitating households’ dissaving during times of low productivity.
basel ii the standard view and our paper
Basel II: The Standard View and Our Paper

Capital Charge

Our paper (recessions)

Basel II

Std view (recessions)

Probability of Default (PD)

conclusions
Conclusions
  • We study the inter-temporal effects of bank capital requirement policies on households’ savings, bank credit and output.
  • We find that bank capital requirements should be increased in response to negative loan supply shocks and decreased in response to negative loan demand shocks.
  • These results contrast, but are not incompatible, with those of the standard view.
  • There is a trade-off: lowering capital requirements in recessions may prevent second-round loan supply reductions (benefit), but it may also discourage savings and thus delay the recovery of loans and output (cost).
  • For policy purposes, we raise a red flag. Cost-benefit trade-offs suggest that policymakers should exercise great caution before implementing policies consistent with the standard view.
  • Given our limited (quantitative) knowledge of these trade-offs, we advocate maintaining capital requirements constant in all phases of the business cycle.