Banking-on-the-Average Rules

22 Pages Posted: 19 May 2010

See all articles by Hans Gersbach

Hans Gersbach

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Volker Hahn

University of Konstanz

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2010

Abstract

In this paper, we introduce a new requirement for bank capital: banking-on-the-average rules. Under these rules a bank's required level of equity capital is monotonically increasing in the realized equity capital of its peers. In a simple model we illustrate the workings of banking-on-the-average rules. We show that in booms these rules can prevent banks from taking excessive risks. Moreover, they alleviate the socially harmful procyclicality of conventional equity-capital rules, which may induce banks to cut back excessively on lending. Finally, we argue that under these rules prudent banks can impose prudency on other banks. In addition, banking-on-the-average rules ensure the build-up of bank equity capital in booms and thus avoid excessive leverage.

Keywords: banking crisis, banking on the average, banking system, equity-capital requirements

JEL Classification: G21, G28

Suggested Citation

Gersbach, Hans and Hahn, Volker, Banking-on-the-Average Rules (May 2010). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7819. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1611515

Hans Gersbach (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 82 80 (Phone)
+41 44 632 18 30 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Volker Hahn

University of Konstanz ( email )

Box 143
Konstanz, 78457
Germany

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