Stephen Cecchetti, Kim Schoenholtz, 10 May 2018

Thomas Gehrig, Maria Chiara Iannino, 21 April 2017

The first Basel Accord initiated what has become a three decade-long process of regulatory convergence of the international banking system. This column argues that by trying to regulate minimal capital standards, the Basel process itself contributed to an ever-increasing shortfall in aggregate bank capital. Consequently, European banks have become increasingly exposed to systemic risk, suggesting that expansive monetary policy could adversely affect the resiliency of banks. 



The Money Macro and Finance Research Group Annual Conference.  Speakers include Claudio Borio (Bank for International Settlements), Jagjit Chadha (National Institute of Economic and Social Research), Kristin Forbes (Bank of England), Rain Newton Smith (CBI) and John Vickers (Oxford University) - journalists welcome - see website for full programme.

Mike Mariathasan, Ouarda Merrouche, 26 May 2013

This paper examines the relationship between banks’ approval for the internal ratings-based (IRB) approaches of Basel II and the ratio of risk-weighted over total assets. Analysing a panel of 115 banks from 21 OECD countries that were eventually approved for applying the IRB to their credit portfolio, we find that risk-weight density is lower once regulatory approval is granted. The effect persists when we control for different loan categories, and we provide evidence showing that it cannot be explained by flawed modelling, or improved risk-measurement alone. Consistent with theories of risk-weight manipulation, the authors find the decline in risk-weights to be particularly prevalent among weakly capitalised banks, when the legal framework for supervision is weak, and in countries where supervisors are overseeing many IRB banks. They conclude that part of the decline in reported riskiness under the IRB results from banks’ strategic risk-modelling.

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.

David Miles, Gilberto Marcheggiano, Jing Yang, 11 April 2011

The authors of CEPR DP8333 assess the optimal level of equity for banks to hold, taking into account costs and benefits both private and social. After considering these overall economic (or social) costs, the authors conclude that desirable equity levels for banks are far higher than actual levels or even target levels under Basel III.


CEPR Policy Research