Staff discussion papers
The authors document leverage, capital and liquidity ratios of banks in Canada. These ratios are important indicators of different types of risk with respect to a bank’s balance‐sheet management. Particular attention is given to the observations by different types of banks, including small banks that historically received less attention.
Staff working papers
Flight from Safety: How a Change to the Deposit Insurance Limit Affects Households’ Portfolio AllocationDeposit insurance protects depositors from failing banks, thus making insured deposits risk-free. When a deposit insurance limit is increased, some deposits that previously were uninsured become insured, thereby increasing the share of risk-free assets in households’ portfolios. This increase cannot simply be undone by households, because to invest in uninsured deposits, a household must first invest in insured deposits up to the limit. This basic insight is the starting point of the analysis in this paper.
We study how changes in prudential requirements affect cross-border lending of Canadian banks by utilizing an index that aggregates adjustments in key regulatory instruments across jurisdictions.
This paper studies how banks simultaneously manage the two sides of their balance sheet and its implications for bank risk taking and real economic activity. First, we analyze how changes in funding affect the supply of bank loans.
The paper employs a unique identification strategy that links survey data on household consumption expenditure to bank-level data in order to estimate the effects of bank financial distress on consumer credit and consumption expenditures.
In October 2006, Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) introduced new ratings for banks that account for the potential of government support. The rating changes are not a reflection of any changes in the respective banks’ credit fundamentals.
We analyze the relationship between the intensity of banks’ use of soft-information and household bankruptcy patterns. Using a unique data set on the universe of Canadian household bankruptcies, we document that bankruptcy rates are higher in markets where the collection of soft, or qualitative locally gathered information, is the weakest.
Some evidence points to the procyclicality of leverage among financial institutions leading to aggregate volatility. This procyclicality occurs when financial institutions finance their assets with non-equity funding (i.e., debt financed asset expansions). Wholesale funding is an important source of market-based funding that allows some institutions to quickly adjust their leverage.
In this paper, we investigate how liquidity conditions in Canada may affect domestic and/or foreign lending of globally active banks and whether this transmission is influenced by individual bank characteristics.
Bank of Canada Review articles
August 16, 2012 This article examines four indicators of balance-sheet risks—leverage, capital, asset liquidity and funding—among different types of financial institutions in Canada over the past three decades. It also discusses relevant developments in the banking sector that could have contributed to the observed dynamics. The authors find that the various risk indicators decreased during the period for most of the non-Big Six financial institutions, but remained relatively unchanged for the Big Six banks. In addition, the balance-sheet risk indicators became more heterogeneous across financial institutions. The observed overall decline and increased heterogeneity follow certain regulatory changes, such as the introduction of the liquidity guidelines on funding in 1995 and the implementation of bank-specific leverage requirements in 2000. Given that these regulations required more balance-sheet risk management, they have likely contributed to the increased resilience of the banking sector.
February 23, 2012 With increasing levels of household debt in recent years, the number of households that may be vulnerable to a negative economic shock is rising as well. Decisions made by both the debtor and the creditor can contribute to insolvency. This article presents some stylized facts about insolvency in Canada’s household sector and analyzes the role of creditors in insolvencies. The average debt of an individual filing for bankruptcy is more than 1.5 times that of an average Canadian household; bankruptcy filers tend to be unemployed or in low-wage jobs, and are typically renters. The article reports that banks that approve more loans per branch, which is interpreted as less-intensive use of soft information (such as the loan officer’s assessment of the applicant’s character), experience more client bankruptcies. This finding has important policy implications, because financial institutions that do not use soft information risk further deterioration in their lending portfolios.