The countercyclical capital buffer and the composition of bank lending

61 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2019 Last revised: 24 Feb 2022

See all articles by Raphael Auer

Raphael Auer

Swiss National Bank; Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Alexandra Matyunina

University of Zurich; Swiss Finance Institute

Steven Ongena

University of Zurich - Department of Banking and Finance; Swiss Finance Institute; KU Leuven; NTNU Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 13, 2019


Do targeted macroprudential measures impact non-targeted sectors too? We investigate the compositional changes in the supply of credit by Swiss banks, exploiting their differential exposure to the activation in 2013 of the countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) which targeted banks’ exposure to residential mortgages. We find that the additional capital requirements resulting from the activation of the CCyB are associated with higher growth in banks’ commercial lending. While banks are lending more to all types of businesses, the new macroprudential policy benefits smaller and riskier businesses the most. However, the interest rates and other costs of obtaining credit for these firms rise as well.

Keywords: macroprudential policy, spillovers, credit, bank capital, systemic risk

JEL Classification: E51, E58, E60, G01, G21, G28

Suggested Citation

Auer, Raphael and Matyunina, Alexandra and Ongena, Steven R. G., The countercyclical capital buffer and the composition of bank lending (August 13, 2019). Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper No. 21-66, Available at SSRN: or

Raphael Auer

Swiss National Bank ( email )

Fraumuensterstr. 8
Zurich, 8022

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Centralbahnplatz 2
Basel, Basel-Stadt 4002

Alexandra Matyunina

University of Zurich ( email )

Schönberggasse 1

Swiss Finance Institute ( email )

c/o University of Geneva
42, Bd du Pont d'Arve
Geneva, CH-1211

Steven R. G. Ongena (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Banking and Finance ( email )

Schönberggasse 1
Zürich, 8001

Swiss Finance Institute

c/o University of Geneva
40, Bd du Pont-d'Arve
CH-1211 Geneva 4

KU Leuven ( email )

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant 3000

NTNU Business School ( email )


Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

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