The Financial System Review concludes that the overall level of risk to Canada’s financial system is largely unchanged from six months ago. While household vulnerabilities have moved higher, the ongoing economic recovery in Canada means that the overall risk remains the same. The Bank highlights three vulnerabilities in the financial system: the elevated level of household indebtedness, imbalances in some regional housing markets and the fragility of liquidity in fixed-income markets.
Indebted Households and Potential Vulnerabilities for the Canadian Financial System: A Microdata AnalysisOver 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.
The Reports section of the Financial System Review examines selected issues of relevance to the Canadian and global financial systems. The June 2015 issue features two reports summarizing recent work by Bank of Canada staff on specific financial sector policies.