Brunella Bruno, Giacomo Nocera, Andrea Resti, 24 May 2017

Bank risk-weighted assets differ significantly across banks. Using a unique database covering Europe’s top 50 banking groups, this column argues that national segmentations explain a significant (albeit decreasing) share of this variability. Furthermore, institutions that rely more heavily on the internal ratings-based approach have reduced more (or increased less) their corporate loan portfolio. This effect is somewhat stronger for banks located in Eurozone periphery countries during the 2010-12 sovereign crisis.

Mike Mariathasan, Ouarda Merrouche, 29 June 2013

The regulation of bank capital has recently come under renewed scrutiny. This column argues that the way we implement capital regulation needs to be reconsidered because banks under-report risk, thereby escaping government intervention and maintaining market access. One possible way forward, something already implemented under Basel III, is to ask banks to satisfy a capital requirement relative to total (rather than risk-weighted) assets. Overall, simple, transparent, workable rules are what we should be aiming for.

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