Are Covered Bonds a Substitute for Mortgage-Backed Securities?
42 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2013
Date Written: August 7, 2013
Covered bonds and mortgage-backed securities both allow mortgages to be financed with duration-matched bonds. Given the problems in the MBS market during the financial crisis, some suggest that CB might be a substitute for MBS. Examining the use of CB and MBS in the U.S. and Europe, we find that the two are used for different purposes. Banks are more likely to use CB to help with liquidity needs while MBS are associated with risk management and agency problems. Introducing MBS to markets where only CB are common or CB to markets where only MBS are common could have large effects. Our estimates suggest that 20-25% of banks in Germany and the U.S. might switch from CB to MBS (Germany) or MBS to CB (U.S.) if access was similar to that in countries where both CB and MBS are common (Spain and the U.K.).
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