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24 November 2016
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - ARTICLE
Financial Stability Review Issue 2, 2016
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Abstract
Alternative investment funds (AIFs) in Europe operate without regulatory leverage limits. Competent authorities within the EU have the legal power to impose macroprudential leverage limits on AIFs, but no authority has implemented this tool so far. This joint European Central Bank-De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) special feature (i) presents a macroprudential case for limiting the use of leverage by investment funds, (ii) develops a framework to inform the design and calibration of macroprudential leverage limits to contain the build-up of leverage-related systemic risks by AIFs, and (iii) discusses different design and calibration options. By way of example, it uses supervisory information on AIFs managed by asset managers based in the Netherlands. The article concludes by recommending a way forward to develop an EU-level framework for a harmonised implementation of macroprudential leverage limits for AIFs, which forms a key part of the agenda of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) to develop macroprudential policy beyond banking.
JEL Code
G00 : Financial Economics→General→General
30 November 2017
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 202
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Abstract
This joint ECB-DNB Occasional Paper aims to inform the ongoing discussions about an EU-level framework for operationalising macroprudential leverage limits for alternative investment funds (AIFs). It builds on, and extends, the analysis of an ECB-DNB special feature article published in the ECB’s Financial Stability Review in November 2016. First, this Occasional Paper presents new EU-level evidence suggesting that leveraged funds exhibit stronger sensitivity of investor outflows to bad past performance than unleveraged funds, which has the potential to exacerbate systemic risk. Second, it devises a framework for assessing financial stability risks from leverage in investment funds. This is applied to leveraged AIFs managed by asset managers in the Netherlands using Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) data for the two-year period from the first quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2016. Third, it discusses the potential effectiveness and efficiency of various designs for macroprudential leverage limits. To this end, it builds on the findings for the Dutch AIF sector and suggests design options for further exploration at EU level. Beyond assessing financial stability risks from leverage in the Dutch AIF sector, the case study aims to show how equivalent information on AIFs at the European level – which will be made available to the European Securities Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) in the coming years – could be used when developing an EU-level framework for operationalising macroprudential leverage limits.
JEL Code
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
E61 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Policy Objectives, Policy Designs and Consistency, Policy Coordination
29 October 2019
MACROPRUDENTIAL BULLETIN - ARTICLE - No. 9
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Abstract
A recent ECB study shows that leverage is an important driver in investors’ redemption decisions. Regulatory changes to the UCITS framework facilitated the use of derivatives, increasing leverage for some European mutual funds which amplified investors' responsiveness to negative returns in a procyclical manner.
JEL Code
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
3 March 2020
FINANCIAL INTEGRATION AND STRUCTURE ARTICLE
Financial Integration and Structure in the Euro Area 2020
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Abstract
This special feature analyses euro area investment preferences in the investment fund sector and discusses the implications for financial integration. We investigate the traditional perception that investors tend to hold a disproportionate share of domestic assets in their portfolio, a phenomenon generally known as “home bias”. We argue that measures of home bias that neglect fund holders’ countries of origin are biased, in particular when investments are concentrated in financial centres. By taking into account fund holders’ country of origin rather than assuming the fund’s domicile as investment origin, this study revisits and corrects measures of home bias in the euro area.
3 March 2020
FINANCIAL INTEGRATION AND STRUCTURE ARTICLE
Financial Integration and Structure in the Euro Area 2020
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Abstract
This special feature discusses how a common sovereign safe asset in the euro area could benefit financial stability by fostering financial integration and development, and by changing the structure of asset markets. The discussion focuses on the potential benefits of a well-designed common safe asset that has certain desirable characteristics, while it does not provide an assessment of specific design options. This special feature should be viewed as part of a broader discussion on how to complete the banking union, which also includes considerations regarding a European deposit insurance scheme and changing the regulatory treatment of sovereign exposures.
19 May 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2413
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Abstract
Does leverage drive investor flows in bond mutual funds? Leverage can increase fund returns in good times, but it can also magnify investors’ losses and their response to bad performance. We study bond fund flows to provide new evidence for the link between mutual fund leverage and financial fragility. We find that outflows are greater in leveraged funds during stressed periods and after bad performance, compared with unleveraged funds. We provide supporting evidence that leverage exacerbates the negative externality in investors' redemption decisions. In this regard, we find that fund managers in leveraged funds react more procyclically to net outflows compared with fund managers in unleveraged funds. Such procyclical security sales in leveraged funds may increase investors’ first-mover advantages and their response to bad performance. These findings suggest that leverage amplifies fragility in the bond mutual fund sector.
JEL Code
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
25 May 2020
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - BOX
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2020
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Abstract
Euro area money market funds (MMFs) provide short-term credit to banks and non-financial corporations (NFCs) through purchases of commercial paper (CP). MMFs also play an important role in non-banks’ cash and liquidity management, given that the funds offer stable value and the possibility to redeem at short notice. As the coronavirus crisis deepened, euro area MMFs experienced large outflows and a number of them had difficulties in raising sufficient cash from maturing assets and liquid positions. Stress in MMFs can impair the financial system’s and the real economy’s access to short-term funding and liquidity during crises. Monetary policy action helped to improve financial market conditions more broadly, thereby also alleviating liquidity strains in the MMF sector.
JEL Code
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
12 April 2021
MACROPRUDENTIAL BULLETIN - ARTICLE - No. 12
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Abstract
Following the onset of the coronavirus (COVID‑19) crisis, a significant number of European investment funds suspended redemptions. We find that many of those funds had invested in illiquid assets, were leveraged or had lower cash holdings than funds that were not suspended. Furthermore, suspensions were more likely to be seen in jurisdictions where pre-emptive liquidity measures were not available. Our findings also suggest that suspensions have spillover effects on other funds and sectors, highlighting the importance of pre-emptive liquidity management measures.
JEL Code
G23, G28, G01 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
12 April 2021
MACROPRUDENTIAL BULLETIN - ARTICLE - No. 12
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Abstract
The turmoil seen in March 2020 highlighted key vulnerabilities in the money market fund (MMF) sector. This article assesses the effectiveness of the EU’s regulatory framework from a financial stability perspective and identifies three important lessons. First, investment in non-public debt assets exposes MMFs to liquidity risk, highlighting the need to limit investment in illiquid assets. Second, low-volatility net asset value (LVNAV) funds are particularly vulnerable to liquidity shocks, given that they invest in non-public debt assets while offering a stable net asset value (NAV). Enhanced portfolio requirements could strengthen their liquidity profile. And third, MMFs seem reluctant to draw down on their liquidity buffers during periods of stress, suggesting a need to make buffers more usable.
JEL Code
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises