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Policy Contribution

Fiscal capacity to support large banks

This Policy Contribution outlines a fiscal cost scenario for the recapitalisation of large banks during a severe systemic crisis.

By: , and Date: October 3, 2016 Topic: Banking and capital markets

During the global financial crisis and subsequent euro-debt crisis, the fiscal resources of some countries appeared to be insufficient to support their banking systems. These countries needed outside support to stabilise their banking systems and thereby their wider economies.

This Policy Contribution assesses the potential fiscal costs of recapitalising large banks. Based on past financial crises, we estimate that the cost to recapitalise an individual bank amounts to 4.5 percent of its total assets. During a severe crisis, a country might have to recapitalise up to three of its large systemic banks. We assume that bail-in of private investors is not fully possible during a systemic crisis.

Our empirical findings suggest that large countries, such as the United States, China and Japan, can still provide credible fiscal backstops to their large systemic banks. In the euro area, the potential fiscal costs are unevenly distributed and range from 4 to 12 percent of GDP. Differences in the strengths of the fiscal backstops in euro-area countries contribute to divergences in financing conditions across the banking union.

To counter this fragmentation, we propose that the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) could be used as a fiscal backstop to recapitalise systemically important banks directly within the banking union, in the case of a severe systemic crisis. But this would be only a last resort, after other tools such as bail-in have been used to the maximum extent possible. The governance of the ESM should be reconsidered, to ensure swift and clear application in times of crisis.

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Blog Post

Boosting the resilience of Europe’s financial system in the coronavirus crisis

Europe has a heavily bank-based financial structure, but bank-based financial structures are associated with higher systemic risk than market-based financial structures. The higher level of systemic risk in Europe suggests caution when pursuing policies that stimulate risk taking and debt creation by banks, especially in the wake of COVID-19. Priority should be given to financial diversification and equity finance.

By: Joost Bats, Aerdt Houben and Dirk Schoenmaker Topic: Banking and capital markets Date: July 17, 2020
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Past Event

Past Event

Tackling too-big-to-fail banks: have the reforms been effective?

Evaluation of the global reforms implemented to deal with "too-big-to-fail banks".

Speakers: Alexandre Birry, Claudia M. Buch and Nicolas Véron Topic: Banking and capital markets Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: July 9, 2020
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Podcast

Podcast

Banks and loan losses in the pandemic turmoil

The current pandemic is shaking the financial system. How can banks react ? Is a consolidation of the financial system in Europe needed in order to respond to this crisis ? Will our economies suffer from this pandemic as much as they did in 2008 ? This week, Giuseppe Porcaro is joined live by Guntram Wolff and Nicolas Véron to discuss banks and loan losses in the pandemic turmoil.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Banking and capital markets Date: March 25, 2020
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Blog Post

Banks in pandemic turmoil

The banking system is critical to society and requires attention and support. In doing so, however, tough love is preferable to complacency.

By: Nicolas Véron Topic: Banking and capital markets Date: March 24, 2020
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Blog Post

A European anti-money laundering supervisor: From vision to legislation

In fighting anti-money laundering, the European Commission should act fast toward creating a central supervisory authority.

By: Joshua Kirschenbaum, Nicolas Véron and Bruegel Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: January 24, 2020
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External Publication

European Parliament

Impediments to resolvability of banks

This paper gives an overview of the seven aspects of resolvability defined in 2019 by the Single Resolution Board, and then assesses progress in two key areas, based on evidence gathered from public disclosures made by the 20 largest euro-area banks. The largest banks have made good progress in raising bail-in capital. Changes to banks’ legal and operational structures that will facilitate resolution will take more time. Greater transparency would make it easier to achieve the policy objective of making banks resolvable.

By: Alexander Lehmann and Bruegel Topic: European Parliament Date: December 18, 2019
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Blog Post

Bank regulation in the European Union neighbourhood: limits of the ‘Brussels effect’

The EU model of financial market regulation is increasingly copied by third countries. In this context, the EU’s efforts to promote its model beyond its borders should take into account the underdevelopment of financial markets in many partner countries, and the often insufficient capacity of regulators and supervisors.

By: Alexander Lehmann and Bruegel Topic: Banking and capital markets, Macroeconomic policy Date: November 20, 2019
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Policy Contribution

Crisis management for euro-area banks in central Europe

Euro-area bank integration has decreased as post-financial crisis national rules require banks to hold more capital at home. It might be undermined further by bank resolution planning. Either a Single Resolution Board takes the lead for the entire banking group or independent local intervention schemes need to be developed for crisis resolution.

By: Alexander Lehmann and Bruegel Topic: Banking and capital markets, Macroeconomic policy Date: November 19, 2019
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Opinion

Upbeat outlook from Chinese banks' profits masks growing problems for small banks

The performance of Chinese banks has been resilient so far, despite decelerating growth. While the performance of large banks remained steady, the rebound came from small banks. Why have small banks rebounded and is the rebound sustainable?

By: Alicia García-Herrero, Gary Ng and Bruegel Topic: Global economy and trade Date: November 12, 2019
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Opinion

Scholz's improved plan to complete the banking union

The head of German Finance has written in the Financial Times defending the need to deepen the banking union, now London is about to leave

By: Rebecca Christie and Bruegel Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: November 8, 2019
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Opinion

Why investors should temper optimism over a China trade rally

The economy is in worse shape than in 2015 and policies to boost growth are not as effective as they once were

By: Alicia García-Herrero and Bruegel Topic: Global economy and trade Date: November 6, 2019
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Opinion

Politics, not policy will help Lagarde save the eurozone

Her success at helm of Europe’s central bank will depend on her ability to mend fences with hawkish policymakers.

By: Guntram B. Wolff, Rebecca Christie and Bruegel Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: November 4, 2019
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