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Jeroen Brinkhoff

13 July 2015
This paper contains an analysis of the network of the 29 largest European insurance groups and their financial counterparties. Insurance companies have direct exposures to other insurers, banks and other financial institutions through the holdings of debt, equity and other financial instruments. These exposures can cause direct contagion and thereby the spread of systemic risks. This analysis focuses on direct linkages between EU insurers and banks. Sectoral data show that at least 20% of insurers’ assets are investments in banks. As a result insurers are an important source of funding for banks. This paper adds to the expanding research on financial market networks and on systemic risks in the insurance sector.
JEL Code
L14 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→Transactional Relationships, Contracts and Reputation, Networks
G18 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Government Policy and Regulation
23 April 2018
Existing stress tests do not capture feedback loops between individual institutions and the financial system. To identify feedback loops, the European Systemic Risk Board has developed macroprudential surveys that ask banks and insurers how they would behave in a macroeconomic stress scenario. In a pilot application of these surveys, we find evidence of herding behaviour in the banking sector, notably concerning credit retrenchment. Results show that the consequences can be large, potentially undoing the initial effects of banks’ remedial actions by worsening their solvency position. In contrast, insurers’ responses to the survey provide little evidence of herding in response to macroeconomic stress. These results highlight the usefulness of macroprudential surveys in identifying feedback loops.
JEL Code
E30 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→General
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G18 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Government Policy and Regulation
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G22 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Insurance, Insurance Companies, Actuarial Studies
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation