How to Release Capital Requirements During a Pandemic? Evidence from Euro Area Banks
36 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2022
Date Written: September 1, 2022
This paper investigates the impact of the capital relief package adopted to support euro area banks at the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. By leveraging confidential supervisory and credit register data, we uncover two main findings. First, capital relief measures support banks' capacity to supply credit to firms. Second, not all measures are equally successful. Banks adjust their credit supply only if the capital relief is permanent or implemented through established processes that foresee long release periods. By contrast, discretionary relief measures are met with limited success, possibly owing to the uncertainty surrounding their capital replenishment path. Moreover, requirement releases are more effective for banks with a low capital headroom over requirements and do not trigger additional risk-taking. These findings provide key insights on how to design effective bank capital requirement releases in crisis time.
Keywords: bank capital requirements, coronavirus, countercyclical policy, credit register, macroprudential policy
JEL Classification: E61, G01, G18, G21
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