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Yener Altunbas, Michiel van Leuvensteijn, and Tianshu Zhao
We examine how bank competition in the run-up to the 2007–2009 crisis affects banks’ systemic risk during the crisis. We then investigate whether this effect is influenced by two key bank characteristics: securitization and bank capital. Using a sample of the largest listed banks from 15 countries, we find that greater market power at the bank level and higher competition at the industry level lead to higher realized systemic risk. The results suggest that the use of securitization exacerbates the effects of market power on the systemic dimension of bank risk, while capitalization partially mitigates its impact.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper summarizes Nordea’s operations and business model; the macroeconomic and prudential implications of the move; and policy responses taken so far. The IMF staff’s assessment is that banking supervision in the euro area has improved significantly following the creation of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, which should mitigate potential risks from Nordea’s move; meanwhile, the Nordic authorities have done much, in conjunction with the European Central Bank, to ensure that potential gaps and fragmentation across national jurisdictions are avoided. The resolution framework is designed to prevent taxpayers having to bail out banks, but is new, and work on building the crisis preparedness of euro area banks is still under way. The banking union is not yet complete, details of the backstop for the Single Resolution Fund need to be finalized and a common euro area deposit insurance should be made fully operational. At the same time, Nordea is also operating in non-euro area member states—maintaining cooperation between euro area and noneuro area institutions remains important.
Iacovos Ioannou
Lithuania’s current credit cycle highlights the strong link between housing prices and credit. We explore this relationship in more detail by analyzing the main features of credit, housing price, and output cycles in Baltic and Nordic countries during1995-2017. We find a high degree of synchronization between Lithuania’s credit and housing price cycles. Panel regressions show a strong correlation between a credit upturn and housing price upturn. Moreover, panel VAR suggests that shocks in housing prices, credit, and output within and outside Lithuania strongly impact Lithuania’s credit.
Mr. Tigran Poghosyan
Total investment in Denmark has experienced a sharp slowdown following the global financial crisis. This slowdown has coincided with a decline in labor productivity and expansion of the current account surplus. This paper presents stylized facts summarizing the investment slowdown followed by an empirical analysis identifying its drivers. The results suggest that the decline in output has contributed to investment slowdown, consistent with predictions of the accelerator model. However, other factors, including high leverage and structural rigidities in product markets, also played a role.
IMF Research Perspective (formerly published as IMF Research Bulletin) is a new, redesigned online newsletter covering updates on IMF research. In the inaugural issue of the newsletter, Hites Ahir interviews Valeria Cerra; and they discuss the economic environment 10 years after the global financial crisis. Research Summaries cover the rise of populism; economic reform; labor and technology; big data; and the relationship between happiness and productivity. Sweta C. Saxena was the guest editor for this inaugural issue.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note discusses the findings and recommendations made in the Financial Sector Assessment Program for Ireland in the areas of nonbank sector stability. Both nonparametric and parametric methods suggest that the residential real estate market in Ireland is close to or moderately below its equilibrium level. Two standard metrics of price-to-income and price-to-rent ratios show that following a protracted period of overvaluation prior to the crisis and a correction afterward, the market has been close to its equilibrium level in recent quarters. Households have deleveraged, but are still highly indebted. The stability analysis results also suggest that vulnerabilities among nonfinancial firms have moderated in recent years.
Miss Rita Babihuga and Marco Spaltro
This paper investigates the determinants of bank funding costs for a sample of internationally active banks from 2001–12. We find that changes in banks’ unsecured funding costs are associated with bank-specific characteristics such as an institution’s credit worthiness and the return on its market value, and importantly, on the level and quality of capital. Similarly, market factors such as the level of investor risk appetite, as well as shocks to financial markets—notably the US subprime crisis and the Euro Area sovereign debt crisis—have also been key drivers of the sharp rise in bank funding costs. We also find evidence that large systemically important institutions have enjoyed a funding advantage, and that this advantage has risen since the onset of the two crises. With the exception of Euro Area periphery banks, by end-2012 the rise in funding costs had generally been reversed for most major banks as a result of improvments in bank asset quality as well as steps taken to increase resilience, notably higher capitalization. Our results suggest increased capital buffers may potentially support bank lending to the real economy by reducing bank funding costs.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper examines 2013 Cluster Consultation—a Nordic Regional IMF staff report. Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden that form the Nordic region share a set of strong economic and social institutions and policies, with emphasis on education, high income equality, high employment, innovative and competitive business environment, etc. The IMF report suggests that strong national financial sector policies and regional cooperation would help mitigate common challenges and shared risks. Cooperative regional policies, such as introducing binding macroprudential minima and clear ex ante burden-sharing arrangements are expected to help limit the costs from any large bank failures.
International Monetary Fund
In this study, economic developments and policies used for the recovery of financial stability of Sweden against global recession are discussed. The low inflation is reached by increasing Riksbank policy rate. The role of fiscal policy council is explained. The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) recommendations are endorsed on financial institutions. These include merging the stability and deposit insurance funds, establishing a special bank resolution regime, and increasing further the Financial Supervisory Agency’s capacity. Also, the Basel III capital regulations are supported by the authorities.
Mr. Thomas F. Cosimano and Ms. Dalia S Hakura
This paper investigates the impact of the new capital requirements introduced under the Basel III framework on bank lending rates and loan growth. Higher capital requirements, by raising banks’ marginal cost of funding, lead to higher lending rates. The data presented in the paper suggest that large banks would on average need to increase their equity-to-asset ratio by 1.3 percentage points under the Basel III framework. GMM estimations indicate that this would lead large banks to increase their lending rates by 16 basis points, causing loan growth to decline by 1.3 percent in the long run. The results also suggest that banks’ responses to the new regulations will vary considerably from one advanced economy to another (e.g. a relatively large impact on loan growth in Japan and Denmark and a relatively lower impact in the U.S.) depending on cross-country variations in banks’ net cost of raising equity and the elasticity of loan demand with respect to changes in loan rates.