Prudential Policy at Times of Stagnation: A View from the Trenches

26 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2016

Date Written: December 18, 2015


In the euro area, macroprudential policy can be a powerful complement to monetary policy. However, its coordination with microprudential policy is a particularly delicate task. The coexistence of two supervisory regimes that rely on similar tools to pursue different objectives may at times give rise to conflicting decisions, or create uncertainty on the logic of the prudential framework. These risks are structurally greater in bank-based economies with highly concentrated banking sectors, and may be heightened in the contractionary phase of the cycle, when policymakers face a short-run trade-off between the resilience of the financial sector and the speed of economic recovery. This makes the micro/macro coordination problem a top priority for European supervisors today. In order to address it, supervisors must agree to rank their policy objectives and examine their interventions from a general equilibrium perspective. We remain agnostic as to how much capital European banks should ultimately be required to hold. Instead we stress that, irrespective of the target, supervisors should achieve it over the appropriate time span, minimizing any negative spillovers on credit supply and protecting the credibility of the newly-launched countercyclical macroprudential framework with all available means.

Keywords: banking supervision, coordination, policy uncertainty, euro area

JEL Classification: G21, G28

Suggested Citation

Alessandri, Piergiorgio and Panetta, Fabio, Prudential Policy at Times of Stagnation: A View from the Trenches (December 18, 2015). Bank of Italy Occasional Paper No. 300, Available at SSRN: or

Piergiorgio Alessandri (Contact Author)

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184

Fabio Panetta

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
00184 Roma
+39 06 4792 4143 (Phone)
+39 06 4792 3723 (Fax)

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