The Role of Time-Varying Risk Premia in International Inter-Bank Markets

International Journal of Finance and Economics, Forthcoming

42 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2020

Date Written: June 24, 2020


We study international inter-bank spreads within a no‐arbitrage dynamic term structure model and attempt to disentangle time‐varying risk premia in the inter-bank market for major currencies. Our results suggest that, at the peak of financial crisis, the inter-bank spread was clearly driven by liquidity risk. In the aftermath of the crisis, credit risk has become the dominant driver of the spread. This effect is stronger in the Euro and UK markets, due to the escalation of the European sovereign debt crisis, and weaker in the Japanese market which experienced remarkably low credit pressures. Furthermore, we assess the effectiveness of monetary policy actions and demonstrate that the establishment of the unconventional policy programmes led to the deterioration of liquidity risk in the inter-bank market, and the policy of major Central banks to substantially cut interest rates kept credit pressures at low levels. We also partition the spread into expectation hypothesis and time‐varying risk premium components and reject the hypothesis of constant risk premium. We find strong evidence of predictability inferred from the inter-bank spread model with time‐varying risk premia.

Keywords: No-Arbitrage Model, Risk Premia, Inter-Bank Market, Unconventional Monetary Policy, Credit Risk, Liquidity Risk

JEL Classification: E43, E48, G12, G15, C11

Suggested Citation

Karouzakis, Nikolaos, The Role of Time-Varying Risk Premia in International Inter-Bank Markets (June 24, 2020). International Journal of Finance and Economics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Nikolaos Karouzakis (Contact Author)

ALBA Graduate Business School

6-8 Xenias St.
Athens, Athens 11528

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