Staff Reports
Regulation and Risk Shuffling in Bank Securities Portfolios
Number 851
June 2018

JEL classification: G21, G23, G28

Authors: Andreas Fuster and James Vickery

Bank capital requirements are based on a mix of market values and book values. We investigate the effects of a policy change that ties regulatory capital to the market value of the “available-for-sale" investment securities portfolio for some banking organizations. Our analysis is based on security-level data on individual bank portfolios matched to bond characteristics. We find little clear evidence that banks respond by reducing the riskiness of their securities portfolios, although there is some evidence of a greater use of derivatives to hedge securities exposures. Instead, banks respond by reclassifying securities to mitigate the effects of the policy change. This shift is most pronounced for securities with high levels of interest rate risk.

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AUTHOR DISCLOSURE STATEMENT(S)
James Vickery
The author declares that he has no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research described in this paper.

Andreas Fuster
The author declares that he has no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research described in this paper.