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This in-depth analysis provides evidence on differences in the practice of supervising large banks in the UK and in the euro area. It identifies the diverging institutional architecture (partially supranationalised vs. national oversight) as a pivotal determinant for a higher effectiveness of supervisory decision making in the UK. The ECB is likely to take a more stringent stance in prudential supervision than UK authorities. The setting of risk weights and the design of macroprudential stress test ...

Negative interest rate policies (NIRP) have become an established monetary policy instrument in the toolkit of the ECB. We discuss NIRP in the euro area based on theoretical considerations and available empirical evidence. We find that NIRP had some positive impact on loan growth and investment in the euro area, but that the room to further loosen monetary policy via NIRP may be small. NIRP is discussed also in the context of the general monetary policy environment. This paper was provided by ...

Policy rate cuts in negative territory have increased credit supply and improved the macroeconomic environment similar to cuts in positive territory. Dreaded disruptions to the monetary policy transmission channels as well as adverse side effects on bank profitability have so far largely failed to materialise. Thus, the evidence available today shows that the negative interest rate policy is an effective policy tool. However, systemic risks, including in the non-bank sector, should be closely monitored ...

This note is prepared in view of a regular public hearing with the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), Andrea Enria, which will take place on 1 July 2021. The briefing addresses (i) the ECB’s TRIM Project Report, (ii) data on significant banks’ holdings of sovereign debt, (iii) the ECB’s publication on banks’ recovery plans, (iv) the ECB’s Supervisory banking statistics for the fourth quarter of 2020, (v) the ECB consultation on revised “fit & proper” guidance, (vi ...

This paper shows that larger banks and better capitalised banks invest more in computer software. These findings could reflect that larger banks can attain greater benefits from computer software and that better capitalised banks have more resources to make larger software investments. All the same, smaller and less capitalised banks will also have to make substantial software investments to maintain sustainable businesses, something that supervisors will need to point that out to these banks.

Low IT spending by banks: Reason for concern?

Análisis en profundidad 24-06-2021

We collect data on IT spending as reported by banks directly supervised by the ECB in their 2020 annual reports. Slightly more than 50% of these banks report their IT spending. Our analysis, using data for those banks that do report IT expenditure, suggests that the distribution of IT expenses as share of operating income, operating expenses or total assets is uneven. We identify banks that score low on one or more of these ratios. It turns out that this group is very diverse. We argue that these ...

In June 2014, the European Central Bank (ECB) was among the first major central banks to lower policy rates into negative territory. The deposit facility rate was subsequently cut four more times, lastly in September 2019 (to -0.5%). As an unconventional monetary policy instrument used over a prolonged period, negative interest rates require attention because of their uncertain or possibly negative side effects on the banking sector and economy at large. Four papers were prepared by the ECON Committee ...

A widespread concern about negative policy rates is that they might depress bank profits and encourage risk-taking. We find that the impact of negative rates per se is limited. Other policy measures (TLTROs, tiered deposits) have largely neutralised the impact of NIRP on bank profits. Asset purchases might have been more important by compressing the yield curve. Any small positive impact of negative rates on lending and aggregate demand may have been swamped by the negative impact of low rates on ...

EGOV analysed publicly available information on the corporate governance structures to determine the gender balance on the boards of the banks in the euro area supervised by the ECB (“significant institutions”), comparing the situation in 2014 with that in 2020. The general observation is that, overall, the share of female executive directors has risen in significant banks from 15.3% to 27.4% (see figure 1) and the share of female supervisory directors has increased from 22.3% to 31.7% (see figure ...

This document presents summaries of seven external papers commissioned by the European Parliament in November 2020 upon request of the Economic and Monetary Committee (ECON). Papers were delivered, analysed and published in March 2021. ECON has requested its Banking Expert Panel to address the topic of “Non-performing Loans – New Risks and Policies”.