Friederike Niepmann, Viktors Stebunovs, 30 July 2018

In the European Banking Authority’s EU-wide stress tests, banks project capital ratios under a hypothetical adverse scenario employing their own models, which are constrained by a common methodology set by the Authority. This column argues that letting banks produce their own projections means they are prone to manipulation. It finds evidence that banks' internal models are modified to lessen losses given the applicable scenarios and exposures. Without this manipulation, projected aggregate credit losses would have been up to 28% higher in the 2016 stress tests. 

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The training will touch upon the technical framework for contingent capital and bail in debt and the different choices made by the European legislator as compared to other regulators throughout the world. A comparison is made of different bail in regimes in Europe as well, in order to explore the common ground and the differences in the applicable regimes. In addition to the analysis from a legal perspective, an elaborate discussion will be presented about the first market developments in respect of contingent capital and bail in debt, effects on pricing and the different rationale for investors taking positions in contingent capital and bail in debt.

Josef Korte, Sascha Steffen, 07 September 2014

European banking regulation assigns a risk weight of zero to sovereign debt issued by EU member countries, making it an attractive investment for European banks. This column defines a ‘sovereign subsidy’ as a new measure quantifying to what extent banks are undercapitalised due to the zero risk weights. Using recent sovereign debt exposure data, the authors describe the build-up of this subsidy for both domestic and cross-country exposures.  

Claus Puhr, Stefan W Schmitz, Ralph Spitzer, Heiko Hesse, 14 June 2012

In the following column we investigate balance-sheet growth, capitalisation, and deleveraging of European banks since the end of 2008 and show that based on existing empirical evidence banks have so far reduced their leverage (i) markedly and (ii) mainly by raising capital rather than reducing exposure to the real economy. In doing so, banks were able to address two concerns at the same time: One related to their fundamental soundness (“banks are undercapitalised”), the other related to potential harm done to the economy at large (“banks are causing a credit crunch”). This is particularly important, as history has shown that deleveraging too slowly can lead to periods of stagnant growth.

Paolo Bisio, Demelza Jurcevic, Mario Quagliariello, 21 December 2011

In a bid to restore stability and confidence in the markets, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has recommended a plan to raise the required capital buffers of major European banks by summer 2012. This column, by economists at the EBA, describes how the capital targets have been calculated and outlines the main drivers of bank shortfalls with respect to these targets.

Marco Onado, Andrea Resti, 07 December 2011

The newborn European Banking Authority has been fiercely criticised in the few months of its life. This column argues that most of the criticisms have been driven by lobbying interests more than by noble worries on the future of the European economy. It adds that the current market turmoil requires a pan-European guarantee scheme for banks, a ‘big bazooka’ for sovereign debt which does not boil down to a pop gun, and stronger bank supervision at the EBA level.

Donato Masciandaro, María Nieto, Marc Quintyn, 07 February 2011

The European Banking Authority was established on 1 January 2011 with the chief objective of ensuring common regulatory and supervisory standards across the EU. This column asks whether it can achieve this objective under its current governance objectives. It suggests that he European Banking Authority is at least in part restricted in its ability to function.

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