Bank Exposure to Market Fear
34 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 11, 2013
We find that increases in implied market volatility (a proxy for market fear) have a significant impact on returns of bank stocks, above and beyond systematic risk proxied by the expected excess market return during a bad economic regime. Large bank returns are favorably affected by increases in implied market volatility during the crisis, while small banks are adversely affected by increases in implied market volatility. We attribute the different effects among the size-categorized bank portfolios to the perception that large banks are protected by too-big-to-fail policies. Within the sample of small banks, the adverse share price response to increased implied market volatility is more pronounced for banks that rely more heavily on non-traditional sources of funds, use a high proportion of loans in their assets, have a higher level of non-performing assets, and have a relatively low provision for loan losses. The adverse effect of negative innovations in implied market volatility on small bank returns during the crisis is primarily driven by exposure of their loan portfolio to weak economic conditions.
Keywords: banks, implied market volatility, market fear
JEL Classification: G21
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