Deposit 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.
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.