Bert Smid, Beau Soederhuizen, Rutger Teulings, 10 September 2018

The transition to a European banking union is not straightforward. A key issue is how to prioritise risk sharing and risk reduction. This column examines three possible approaches, describing the respective transition scenarios and analysing the consequences for banks during the transition phase. None of the scenarios is optimal for all countries, but waiting too long may lead to solutions needing to be found under the pressure of a new crisis.

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. 

Zsofia Doeme, Stefan Kerbl, 24 January 2018

Risk weights define each bank's minimum capital requirements, but many doubt the comparability of the risk weights that banks report. This column quantifies the variability of these weights across banks, and finds that the country where a bank is headquartered creates statistically significant and economically important differences. Model output floors, as recently agreed upon by the Basel Committee, would reduce this unintended risk weight heterogeneity.

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