Working Paper Series No 2326 / November 2019
Leo de Haan, Sarah Holton, Jan Willem van den End
We empirically analyse the relationship between longer term central bank liquidity support and banks’ balance sheet ratios, using difference-in-differences panel regressions and propensity score matching on a large sample of banks in the euro area. The research question is whether the liquidity operations, which were introduced to prevent disorderly deleveraging, can also be linked to unintended changes in banks’ funding policies and asset allocations. The results show that unconditional and conditional refinancing operations are associated with different developments on banks’ balance sheets. Unconditional longer-term refinancing operations went together with higher maturity transformation by banks in stressed countries, and also more carry trades, i.e. banks borrowing more while increasing their holdings of government bonds. In contrast, refinancing operations that were conditional on banks’ lending were not associated with such carry trades, highlighting the benefits of conditionality attached to long-term refinancing operations.
The paper is available at https://www.ecb.europa.eu//pub/pdf/scpwps/ecb.wp2326~4f94de6a16.en.pdf