This paper examines whether banks strategically incorporate their competitors’ liquidity mismatch policies when determining their own and how these collective decisions impact financial sector stability. Using a novel identification strategy exploiting the presence of partially overlapping peer groups, I show that banks’ liquidity transformation activity is driven by that of their peers. These correlated decisions are concentrated on the asset side of riskier banks and are asymmetric, with mimicking occurring only when competitors are taking more risk. Accordingly, this strategic behavior increases banks’ default risk and overall systemic risk, highlighting the importance of regulating liquidity risk from a macroprudential perspective.

Award: 2019 ESRB Ieke van den Burg Prize for Research on Systemic Risk

Coverage: ECB Task Force on Systemic Liquidity, Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Ireland (Sharon Donnery)

Conference and Seminar Presentations: Federal Reserve Board (US), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Spain), University of Oxford (UK), Nova SBE (Portugal), INSEAD (France), Rotterdam School of Management (Netherlands), Warwick Business School (UK), Queen Mary University of London (UK), KU Leuven (Belgium), Bank of England (UK), European Central Bank (Germany), NYU/UoF 8th International Risk Management Conference (Luxembourg), 1st IWH/FIN/FIRE Workshop on Challenges to Financial Stability (Germany), University of Cambridge/FNA Financial Risk and Networks Conference (UK), Bank of Finland/ESRB/RiskLab Conference (Finland), Banco de México/CEMLA/University of Zurich Conference (Mexico), 4th EBA Policy Research Workshop (UK), Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland/OFR 2015 Financial Stability Conference (US), 2017 AEA Annual Meeting (US), 5th MoFiR Workshop on Banking (US), CEPR/Bank of Israel Conference on Systemic Risk and Macroprudential Policy (Israel), 4th ESRB Annual Conference (Germany)

We analyze the credit supply and real effects of bank bail-ins by exploiting the unexpected failure and subsequent resolution of a major Portuguese bank. Using loan-level data, we show that while firms more exposed to the bail-in suffered a significant contraction of credit at the intensive margin, they were on average able to compensate for the supply-driven shock. However, affected SMEs experienced a binding reduction of funds available through credit lines, and those with lower internal liquidity increased precautionary cash holdings and reduced investment and employment. Our results highlight the trade-off policymakers face when using this new bank resolution mechanism.

Coverage: Wall Street Journal, VoxEU, Moody’s Analytics, Eurointelligence, Mondovisione, Tribuna Economica, ECO (PT), Jornal de Negócios (PT - online, paper and front page), Bank of Portugal - Economics Synopsis

Conference and Seminar Presentations: 2018 Sapienza/BAFFI CAREFIN/RFS Conference (Italy), 45th EFA Annual Meeting (Poland), 2018 FIRS Conference (Spain), 2019 Federal Reserve Day-Ahead Conference (US), Columbia University/BPI 2019 Bank Research Conference (US), Basel Committee on Banking Supervision/CEPR Workshop (Switzerland), 2018 AFA PhD Poster Session (US), 11th Swiss Winter Conference on Financial Intermediation (Switzerland), ABFER/CEPR/CUHK First Annual Symposium in Financial Economics (Hong Kong), 2nd CEPR Annual Spring Symposium in Financial Economics (UK), De Nederlandsche Bank/EBC/CEPR Conference (Netherlands), 5th Emerging Scholars in Banking and Finance Conference (UK), Columbia Business School (US), International Monetary Fund (US), 32nd EEA Conference (Portugal), 4th Bank of Canada/Bank of Spain Workshop (Canada), Single Resolution Board (Belgium), 9th European Banking Center Network Conference (UK), Deutsche Bundesbank/IWH/CEPR Conference (Germany), BI Norwegian (Norway), Bank of Italy (Italy), 4th EFI Research Network Workshop (Belgium), Sydney Banking and Financial Stability Conference 2017 (Australia), Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain), Bank of England (UK), University of Bonn (Germany), 2018 Luso-Brazilian Finance Meeting (Brazil), 17th CREDIT Conference (Italy), 2018 Fixed Income and Financial Institutions Conference (US)

We examine the impact of a large-scale microcredit expansion program on financial access and the transition of previously-unbanked borrowers to commercial banks. Using administrative data on the universe of loans from a credit register accessible to all lenders, we show that the program improved access to credit, especially in underdeveloped areas, with positive effects on business and mortgage lending. The program also generated positive spillovers to the commercial banking sector. As the newly-created microfinance institutions (MFIs) faced lending constraints, a sizable share of first-time borrowers obtained subsequent loans—that were larger, cheaper, and longer-term—from commercial banks, which expanded their branch network in under-served low-risk areas. The individuals switching from MFIs to banks were less risky than non-switchers and not riskier than existing bank borrowers. Overall, our results suggest that the microfinance sector, coupled with a credit reference bureau, can mitigate information frictions in credit markets and serves as a pathway for first-time borrowers to commercial banks.

Coverage: VoxDev, VoxEU

Conference and Seminar Presentations: University of Chicago Consumer Finance Conference (US), 2019 FIRS Conference (US), 46th EFA Annual Meeting (Portugal), IMF-DFID Conference on Financial Inclusion (US), CSAE Oxford Conference 2018 (UK), 2018 Development Economics and Policy Conference (Switzerland), 7th Navarra Center For International Development Research Workshop (Spain), Villanova University (US), International Monetary Fund (US), National Bank of Rwanda (Rwanda), 2018 Africa Meeting of the Econometric Society (Benin), 1st Endless Summer Conference on Financial Intermediation and Corporate Finance (Cyprus), 33rd European Economic Association Conference (Germany), 8th International Research Workshop in Microfinance (Norway), 6th Emerging Scholars in Banking and Finance Conference (UK), IBEFA-ASSA Meeting 2019 (US), MFA 2019 Annual Meeting (US), Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), Reserve Bank of India/Imperial College London Conference on Financial Intermediation in Emerging Markets (India), 12th Swiss Winter Conference on Financial Intermediation (Switzerland), 2019 NOVAFRICA Conference on Economic Development (Portugal), 13th Luso-Brazilian Finance Meeting (Portugal), CUHK-RCFS Conference on Corporate Finance and Financial Intermediation (Hong Kong), 2019 Congress of the SSES (Switzerland), EFiC 2019 Conference (UK), Chicago Financial Institutions Conference 2019 (US), NEUDC 2019 (US)

4) Completing the Banking Union with a European Deposit Insurance Scheme: Who is Afraid of Cross-subsidisation?, with J. Carmassi (ECB), S. Dobkowitz (Bonn), J. Evrard (ECB), L. Parisi (ECB), and M. Wedow (ECB)

Economic Policy (forthcoming)

Published Paper | Working Paper | BibTeX

This paper investigates the impact and appropriateness of establishing a fully mutualised European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) using a unique supervisory micro-level dataset on euro area banks’ covered deposits and their other liabilities. We find that an ex-ante funded Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) with a target size of 0.8% of euro area covered deposits would be sufficient to cover losses even in a severe banking crisis. We then derive risk-based contributions to the DIF based on different bank- and country-specific factors, showing that they can take into account the relative riskiness of banks and banking systems to tackle moral hazard. We also find that smaller and larger banks would not excessively contribute to EDIS relative to the amount of covered deposits in their balance sheet. Finally, we show that there would be no unwarranted systematic cross-subsidisation within EDIS in the sense of some banking systems systematically contributing less than they would benefit from the DIF.

Policy and Pre-PhD Publications: