Adapting Lending Policies When Negative Interest Rates Hit Banks’ Profits
49 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2018 Last revised: 7 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 4, 2018
What is the impact of negative interest rates on bank lending and risk-taking? To answer this question we study the changes in lending policies using both the Euro area Bank Lending Survey and the Spanish Credit Register. Banks whose net interest income is adversely affected by negative rates are concurrently lowly capitalized, take less risk and adjust loan terms and conditions to shore up their risk weighted assets and capitalization. These banks also increase non-interest charges more. But, importantly, we find no differences in banks’ credit supply or standard setting, neither in the Euro area nor in Spain. These findings suggest that negative rates do not necessarily contract the supply of credit and that the so-called “reversal rate” may not have been reached yet.
Keywords: negative interest rates, risk taking, lending policies
JEL Classification: G21, E52, E58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation