Andrea M. Maechler, Ms. Srobona Mitra, and Delisle Worrell
This paper assesses how various types of financial risk such as credit risk, market risk, and liquidity risk affect banking stability in emerging Europe. It also examines how the quality of supervisory standards may have mitigated the vulnerabilities arising from these risk factors. Using panel data, the paper finds that (1) credit quality is of general concern especially in circumstances where credit growth is accelerating; (2) although higher provisioning could adversely affect profits and returns volatility, good supervisory policies on provisioning mitigate such adverse effects; and (3) highly liquid banks are not necessarily more stable because they might be pursuing activities with more volatile returns, but a well-functioning payments system helps to lower the adverse impact on stability. The paper also corroborates earlier evidence of the positive (negative) effect of financial depth (foreign ownership) on stability.
Lithuania’s catch-up toward the European average has been impressive. This success has been coupled with the emergence of macroeconomic imbalances. The dominance of foreign-owned banks in the banking system constitutes both a source of strength and risk. Although stress tests indicate that the banking system is reasonably resilient to macroeconomic shocks, existing capital buffers might not be sufficient to cope with low probability extreme events, and strengthening the capital would be advisable. The government implemented a regulatory framework for Nonbank Financial Institution (NBFI) and a pension reform.
This Technical Note presents a targeted review and a follow-up on the implementation of the recommendations of the 2002 assessment of Lithuania’s compliance with the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision. It was found that banking supervision arrangements in Lithuania were of a high standard and either fully or largely complied with the Core Principles. On one Core Principle, Lithuania was judged to be noncompliant at that time, which concerned the lack of explicit legal protection for Bank of Lithuania board members and supervisory staff.
Mr. Romain Ranciere, Aaron Tornell, and Mr. Athanasios Vamvakidis
This paper constructs a new measure of currency mismatch in the banking sector that controls for bank lending to unhedged borrowers. This measure explicitly takes into account the indirect exchange rate risk that banks undertake when they lend to borrowers that will not be able to repay in the event of a sharp depreciation. Such systemic risk taking is not captured by indicators that are based only on banks’ balance sheet data. The new measure is constructed for 10 emerging European economies and for a broader sample that includes 19 additional emerging economies, for the period 1998 - 2008. Comparisons with previous currency mismatch measures that do not adjust for unhedged foreign currency borrowing illustrate the advantages of the new approach. In particular, the new measure flagged the indirect currency mismatch vulnerabilities that were building up in a number of emerging economies before the recent global crisis. Measuring currency mismatch more accurately can help country authorities in their efforts to address vulnerabilities at the right time, avoiding hurting growth prospects.