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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Denmark’s insurance sector is highly developed with a particularly high penetration and density in the life sector. Traditionally, work-related life insurance and pension savings are offered as a combined package, and life insurance companies dominate the market for mandatory pension schemes for employees. The high penetration explains the overall size of the insurance sector, which exceeds those of peers from other Nordic countries and various other EU member states. Assets managed by the insurance industry amounted to 146 percent of the GDP at end-2018, compared to 72 percent for the EU average.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
While Norway’s institutional arrangement for macroprudential policy is uncommon, the authorities have shown strong willingness to act. The Ministry of Finance (MoF) is the sole macroprudential decision-maker in Norway, which is rare in international comparison. However, Norges Bank and the Finanstilsynet (FSA) play important advisory roles. In recent years, the authorities have taken substantive and wide-ranging macroprudential policy actions in response to growing systemic vulnerabilities—and these seem to have been effective in slowing down some of the riskier trends. The macroprudential policy toolkit is well stocked and actively used.
Katharina Bergant
Using supervisory loan-level data on corporate loans, we show that banks facing high levels of non-performing loans relative to their capital and provisions were more likely to grant forbearance measures to the riskiest group of borrowers. More specifically, we find that risky borrowers are more likely to get an increase in the overall limit or the maturity of a loan product from a distressed lender. As a second step, we analyse the effectiveness of this practice in reducing the probability of default. We show that the most common measure of forbearance is effective in the short run but no forbearance measure significantly reduces the probability of default in the long run. Our evidence also suggests that forbearance and new lending are substitutes for banks, as high shares of forbearance are negatively correlated with new lending to the same group of borrowers. Taken together, these findings can help policy makers shape surveillance and regulation in a future recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Giancarlo Corsetti, Joao B. Duarte, and Samuel Mann
We study the transmission of monetary shocks across euro-area countries using a dynamic factor model and high-frequency identification. We develop a methodology to assess the degree of heterogeneity, which we find to be low in financial variables and output, but significant in consumption, consumer prices, and variables related to local housing and labor markets. Building a small open economy model featuring a housing sector and calibrating it to Spain, we show that varying the share of adjustable-rate mortgages and loan-to-value ratios explains up to one-third of the cross-country heterogeneity in the responses of output and private consumption.