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Limits of stress-test based bank regulation

Summary:
Supervisory risk assessment tools, such as stress-tests, provide complementary information about bank-specific risk exposures. Recent empirical evidence, however, underscores the potential inaccuracies inherent in such assessments. We develop a model to investigate the regulatory implications of these inaccuracies. In the absence of such tools, the regulator sets the same requirement across banks. Risk assessment tools ...

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Supervisory risk assessment tools, such as stress-tests, provide complementary information about bank-specific risk exposures. Recent empirical evidence, however, underscores the potential inaccuracies inherent in such assessments. We develop a model to investigate the regulatory implications of these inaccuracies. In the absence of such tools, the regulator sets the same requirement across banks. Risk assessment tools provide a noisy signal about banks' types, and enable bank specific capital surcharges, which can improve welfare. Yet, a noisy assessment can distort banks' ex ante incentives and lead to riskier banks. The optimal surcharge is zero when assessment accuracy is below a certain threshold, and increases with accuracy otherwise.
International Settlement
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international company limited by shares owned by central banks which "fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks". The BIS carries out its work through subcommittees, the secretariats it hosts and through an annual general meeting of all member banks. It also provides banking services, but only to central banks and other international organizations. It is based in Basel, Switzerland, with representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City.

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