Moeten toezichthouders kapitaaleisen tijdelijk verlagen?

Andrew Haldane van de Bank of England heeft de knuppel in het hoenderhok gegooid. In een recent stuk pleit hij ervoor om de kapitaaleisen voor banken tijdelijk te verlagen. De reden: lagere kapitaaleisen zijn een macroprudentieel middel om kredietverstrekking aan bedrijven op gang te krijgen.

‘In framing macro-prudential policy today, both these factors need to be weighed: on the one hand, enhancements to the risk-bearing capacity of the financial system to repair balance sheets; on the other, encouragement for the risk-taking capacity of the system to boost credit supply. These factors can sometimes point in subtly different directions. The first might point to higher buffers to boost banks’ risk-bearing capacity, while the second might point to lower buffers to boost their risk-taking capacity.

Professor Admati van Harvard University ziet echter niet zoveel in deze plannen. Volgens haar zullen lagere kapitaaleisen er niet toe leiden dat banken meer ouderwets Engelse bedrijven gaan helpen om te investeren, maar zullen lagere kapitaaleisen banken ertoe aanzetten meer risico te gaan nemen. Uit haar stuk in de financial times:

‘A significant problem is that current and proposed capital regulations rely on a complex system of risk weights that discourages traditional lending. Given this, bankers’ return-on-equity focus and government guarantees, we can expect banks to find that investing in start-ups in China and commodity trading is more attractive than local business loans. Banks may even, as they have done in the US recently, pay high dividends instead of lending if this would benefit their shareholders.’

 

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