Bank Net Interest Margin Forecasting and Capital Adequacy Stress Testing by Machine Learning Techniques

51 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2019

See all articles by Raymond Brummelhuis

Raymond Brummelhuis

University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne

Zhongmin Luo

Birkbeck, University of London

Date Written: March 2, 2019


The 2007-09 financial crisis revealed that the investors in the financial market were more concerned about the future as opposed to the current capital adequacy for banks. Stress testing promises to complement the regulatory capital adequacy regimes, which assess a bank's current capital adequacy, with the ability to assess its future capital adequacy based on the projected asset-losses and incomes from the forecasting models from regulators and banks. The effectiveness of stress-test rests on its ability to inform the financial market, which depends on whether or not the market has confidence in the model-projected asset-losses and incomes for banks. Post-crisis studies found that the stress-test results are uninformative and receive insignificant market reactions; others question its validity on the grounds of the poor forecast accuracy using linear regression models which forecast the banking-industry incomes measured by Aggregate Net Interest Margin. Instead, our study focuses on NIM forecasting at an individual bank's level and employs both linear regression and non-linear Machine Learning techniques. First, we present both the linear and non-linear Machine Learning regression techniques used in our study. Then, based on out-of-sample tests and literature-recommended forecasting techniques, we compare the NIM forecast accuracy by 162 models based on 11 different regression techniques, finding that some Machine Learning techniques as well as some linear ones can achieve significantly higher accuracy than the random-walk benchmark, which invalidates the grounds used by the literature to challenge the validity of stress-test. Last, our results from forecast accuracy comparisons are either consistent with or complement those from existing forecasting literature. We believe that the paper is the first systematic study on forecasting bank-specific NIM by Machine Learning Techniques; also, it is a first systematic study on forecast accuracy comparison including both linear and non-linear Machine Learning techniques using financial data for a critical real-world problem; it is a multi-step forecasting example involving iterative forecasting, rolling-origins, recalibration with forecast accuracy measure being scale-independent; robust regression proved to be beneficial for forecasting in presence of outliers. It concludes with policy suggestions and future research directions.

Keywords: Regression, Machine Learning, Time Series Analysis, Bank Capital, Stress Test, Net Interest Margin, Forecasting, PPNR, CCAR

Suggested Citation

Brummelhuis, Raymond and Luo, Zhongmin, Bank Net Interest Margin Forecasting and Capital Adequacy Stress Testing by Machine Learning Techniques (March 2, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Raymond Brummelhuis

University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne ( email )

51096 Reims Cedex

Zhongmin Luo (Contact Author)

Birkbeck, University of London ( email )

Malet Street
London, London WC1
United Kingdom

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