Household debt can be an important source of vulnerability to the financial system. This technical report describes the Household Risk Assessment Model (HRAM) that has been developed at the Bank of Canada to stress test household balance sheets at the individual level.
This paper combines loan-level administrative data with household-level survey data to analyze the impact of recent macroprudential policy changes in Canada using a microsimulation model of mortgage demand of first-time homebuyers.
Over the past decade, an increasing proportion of households in Canada have become highly indebted relative to their income. These highly indebted households now hold one-fifth of total Canadian household debt.Simulations suggest that this greater degree of household indebtedness could exacerbate the impact of shocks to income and interest rates relative to the pre-crisis period. However, an assessment of the vulnerability of the Canadian financial system should, among other factors, account for the ability of Canadian financial institutions to withstand losses from the household sector.
This article focuses on a quantitative method to identify financial system vulnerabilities, specifically, an imbalance indicator model (IIM) and its application to Canada. An IIM identifies potential vulnerabilities in a financial system by comparing current economic and financial data with data from periods leading up to past episodes of financial stress. It complements other sources of information - including market intelligence and regular monitoring of the economy - that policy-makers use to assess vulnerabilities.