The Common Drivers of Default Risk
Posted: 2 May 2014 Last revised: 26 Mar 2015
Date Written: May 1, 2014
Using a unique data set on German banks’ loans to the German real economy, we investigate banks’ credit risk. This data set contains the volume of loans, and write-downs on loans, per bank and industry. Our empirical study for the period 2003-2011 yields the following results: (i) alongside the average nationwide credit loss rate, industry composition, regional factors, and the state of the global economy, the loans’ maturity structure is identified as an additional driver of the bank-wide loss rates in the credit portfolio. (ii) The nationwide loss rate has the largest impact, followed by the maturity structure and the industry composition. (iii) For nationwide banks, these common factors explain about 26% of the time variation in the loss rate of credit portfolios; for regional banks, this figure is less than 8%.
Keywords: Credit risk, Systematic risk, Maturity, Stress tests
JEL Classification: G21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation