Bank Interest Rate Risk Management
56 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2015 Last revised: 4 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 3, 2017
Empirically, bank equity value is decreasing in the interest rate. Yet (i) many banks do not hedge interest rate risk and (ii) above 50% of hedging banks use derivatives to increase exposure. We model a bank's capital structure, and show that these facts are consistent with optimal hedging under financial frictions. Novel predictions on the characteristics of banks taking long or short interest rate derivative positions are tested, and supported by the data. Therefore, banks' derivatives exposures are not necessarily evidence of excessive risk-taking, and can be explained by hedging in the presence of frictions. More broadly, our results challenge the view that "hedging" and "speculative" positions can be identified using the comovement between derivatives payoffs and equity value.
Keywords: Derivatives, Capital structure, Interest rate risk, Hedging
JEL Classification: G21; G32; E43
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation