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Martina Spaggiari

6 September 2023
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 328
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Abstract
Transition to a carbon-neutral economy is necessary to limit the negative impact of climate change and has become one of the world’s most urgent priorities. This paper assesses the impact of three potential transition pathways, differing in the timing and level of ambition of emissions’ reduction, and quantifies the associated investment needs, economic costs and financial risks for corporates, households and financial institutions in the euro area. Building on the first ECB top-down, economy-wide climate stress test, this paper contributes to the field of climate stress testing by introducing three key innovations. First, the design of three short-term transition scenarios that combine the transition paths developed by the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) with macroeconomic projections that allow for the latest energy-related developments. Second, the introduction of granular sectoral dynamics and energy-specific considerations by country relevant to transition risk. Finally, this paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the impact of transition risk on the euro area private sector and on the financial system, using a granular dataset that combines climate, energy-related and financial information for millions of firms with the euro area credit register and securities database and country-level data on households. By comparing different transition scenarios, the results of the exercise show that acting immediately and decisively would provide significant benefits for the euro area economy and financial system, not only by maintaining the optimal net-zero emissions path (and therefore limiting the physical impact of climate change), but also by limiting financial risk. An accelerated transition to a carbon-neutral economy would be helpful to contain risks for financial institutions and would not generate financial stability concerns for the euro area, provided that firms and households could finance their green investments in an orderly manner. However, the heterogeneous results across economic sectors and banks suggest that more careful monitoring of certain entity subsets and of credit exposures will be required during the transition process.
JEL Code
C53 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Forecasting and Prediction Methods, Simulation Methods
C55 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Modeling with Large Data Sets?
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
Q47 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Energy→Energy Forecasting
Q54 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Climate, Natural Disasters, Global Warming
31 May 2023
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - ARTICLE
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2023
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Abstract
Climate change can have a negative effect on sovereign balance sheets directly (when contingent liabilities materialise) and indirectly (when it has an impact on the real economy and the financial system). This special feature highlights the contingent sovereign risks that stem from an untimely or disorderly transition to a net-zero economy and from more frequent and severe natural catastrophes. It also looks at the positive role that governments can play in reducing climate-related financial risks and incentivising adaptation. If the recent trend of ever-lower emissions across the EU is to be sustained, further public sector investment is essential. In this context, the progress made to strengthen green capital markets has fostered government issuance of green and sustainable bonds to finance the transition. While putting significant resources into adaptation projects can increase countries’ resilience to climate change, the economic costs of extreme climate-related events are still set to rise materially in the EU. Only a quarter of disaster losses are currently insured and fiscal support has mitigated related macroeconomic and financial stability risks in the past. Looking ahead, vulnerabilities arising from contingent liabilities may increase in countries with high physical risk and a large insurance protection gap. If these risks rise alongside sovereign debt sustainability concerns, the impact on financial stability could be amplified by feedback loops that see sovereign credit conditions and ratings deteriorate.
JEL Code
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G18 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Government Policy and Regulation
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
G32 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Financing Policy, Financial Risk and Risk Management, Capital and Ownership Structure, Value of Firms, Goodwill
Q51 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Valuation of Environmental Effects
Q54 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Climate, Natural Disasters, Global Warming
Q58. : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Government Policy
16 November 2022
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - BOX
Financial Stability Review Issue 2, 2022
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Abstract
This box investigates the measurement of banks’ exposures to concentration risk related to climate change. It does so by introducing a new metric to quantify carbon-related concentration risk in banks’ corporate loan portfolios. Using data on individual borrowers’ emissions, the formula of the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) is extended to create a carbon-weighted HHI (cwHHI). The cwHHI reveals substantial heterogeneity in the degree of carbon-related concentration among portfolios similarly exposed to high-emitting firms. Furthermore, banks with exposures to high-emitting firms similar to their peers but with higher cwHHI experience higher expected losses in a disorderly transition scenario. The empirical findings of this box suggest that institutions and exposures significantly affected by carbon-related concentration risk run a higher risk of incurring losses, extending even to those banks with a lower share of exposures to high emitters. The implication is that carbon-related concentration risk may be a material risk driver.
JEL Code
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G32 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Financing Policy, Financial Risk and Risk Management, Capital and Ownership Structure, Value of Firms, Goodwill
Q54 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Climate, Natural Disasters, Global Warming
10 October 2022
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2741
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Abstract
Do female directors on banks’ boards influence lending decisions toward less polluting firms? By using granular credit register data matched with information on firm-level greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensities, we isolate credit supply shifts and find that banks with more gender-diverse boards provide less credit to browner companies. This evidence is robust when we differentiate among types of GHG emissions and control for endogeneity concerns. In addition, we also show that female director-specific characteristics matter for lending behavior to polluting firms as better-educated directors grant lower credit volumes to more polluting firms. Finally, we document that the “greening” effect of the female members in banks’ boardrooms is stronger in countries with more female climate-oriented politicians.
JEL Code
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G30 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→General
Q50 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→General
23 May 2022
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - ARTICLE
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2022
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Abstract
The ECB is continuing its work on incorporating climate-related risks into assessments of financial stability. This includes a new analysis of disclosure, pricing and greenwashing risks in financial markets, as well as continued monitoring of financial institutions’ exposure to transition and physical risks. There is some encouraging evidence of better disclosure by non-financial corporations and increasing awareness of climate-related risks in financial markets. Progress made by banks, however, has been more limited. Established and newer metrics show no clear evidence of a reduction in climate-related risks, revealing instead a potential for amplification mechanisms stemming from exposure concentration, cross-hazard correlation and financial institutions’ overlapping portfolios. These findings can inform evidence-based international and European policy debates around climate-related corporate disclosure, standards for sustainable financial instruments and climate-related prudential policies. More generally, amid high uncertainty around governments’ transition policies in an environment of volatile energy prices, further investments in the transition to a net-zero economy would also have a positive impact on medium-term growth and energy security.
JEL Code
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G18 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Government Policy and Regulation
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
G32 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Financing Policy, Financial Risk and Risk Management, Capital and Ownership Structure, Value of Firms, Goodwill
Q51 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Valuation of Environmental Effects
Q54 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Climate, Natural Disasters, Global Warming
17 November 2021
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - ARTICLE
Financial Stability Review Issue 2, 2021
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Abstract
Numerous European and national initiatives have been deployed since 2014 to reduce non-performing loan (NPL) stocks on euro area bank balance sheets. NPL ratios have fallen as a result, but very gradually, mainly thanks to sales to non-bank investors. Despite stronger market activity, prices paid by NPL investors have only improved marginally and continue to stand well below values assigned to NPLs by banks. One type of NPL that has proven particularly difficult to resolve is loans to non-financial firms that have borrowed from multiple banks – multi-creditor loans. Analysis of these loans relative to others finds lower provision coverage by the lending banks, reflecting more optimistic valuations by individual banks and limited recognition of the expected costs of multi-creditor coordination. This special feature proposes a strategy to overcome creditor coordination failures and costs, through the use of data platforms providing ex ante transparency to NPL investors. These, together with NPL securitisation, could substantially reduce the gap between the value of the loans booked on banks’ balance sheets and the prices offered by investors for NPL portfolios.
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G32 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Financing Policy, Financial Risk and Risk Management, Capital and Ownership Structure, Value of Firms, Goodwill
17 May 2021
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - ARTICLE
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2021
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Abstract
The ECB has been intensifying its quantitative work aimed at capturing climate-related risks to financial stability. This includes estimating financial system exposures to climate-related risks, upgrading banking sector scenario analysis and monitoring developments in the financing of the green transition. Considerable progress has been made on capturing banking sector exposures to firms that are subject to physical risks from climate change. While data and methodological challenges are still a focus of ongoing debates, our analyses suggest (i) somewhat concentrated bank exposures to physical and transition risk drivers, (ii) a prevalence of exposures amongst more vulnerable banks and in specific regions, (iii) risk-mitigating potential for interactions across financial institutions, and (iv) strong inter-temporal dependency conditioning the interaction of transition and physical risks. At the same time, investor interest in “green finance” continues to grow – but so-called greenwashing concerns need to be addressed to foster efficient market mechanisms. Both the assessment of risks and the allocation of finance to support the orderly transition to a more sustainable economy can benefit from enhanced disclosures, including of firms’ forward-looking emission targets, better data and strengthened risk assessment methodologies, among other things.
JEL Code
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G18 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Government Policy and Regulation
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
Q54 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Climate, Natural Disasters, Global Warming
14 May 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2550
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Abstract
Do climate-oriented regulatory policies affect the flow of credit towards polluting corporations? We match loan-level data to firm-level greenhouse gas emissions to assess the impact of the Paris Agreement. We find that, following this agreement, European banks reallocated credit away from polluting firms. In the aftermath of President Trump’s 2017 announcement that the United States was withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, lending by European banks to polluting firms in the United States decreased even further in relative terms. It follows that green regulatory initiatives in banking can have a significant impact combating climate change.
JEL Code
E51 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Money Supply, Credit, Money Multipliers
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
H23 : Public Economics→Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue→Externalities, Redistributive Effects, Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
6 July 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2440
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Abstract
We investigate the impact of macroprudential capital requirements on bank lending behaviour across economic sectors, focusing on their potentially heterogenous effects and transmission channel. By employing confidential loan-level data for the euro area over 2015-18, we find that the reaction of banks to structural capital surcharges depends on the level of the required capital buffer and the economic sector of the borrowing counterpart. Although tighter buffer requirements correspond to stronger lending contractions, targeted banks curtail their lending towards credit institutions the most, while leaving loan supply to non-financial corporations almost unchanged. We find that this lending is mitigated when banks resort to central bank funding. These results have important policy implications as they provide evidence on the impact of macroprudential policy frameworks and their interaction with unconventional monetary policies.
JEL Code
E51 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Money Supply, Credit, Money Multipliers
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
E60 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→General
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
20 November 2019
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - ARTICLE
Financial Stability Review Issue 2, 2019
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Abstract
This special feature discusses several ways in which the measurement of banks’ systemic footprint can be complemented with new indicators. The international approach is largely mechanical, but is intended to be complemented by expert judgement. The proposed additional systemic footprint measures may help macroprudential authorities in exercising that judgement. Using loan-level data matched with individual corporate balance sheet information allows macroprudential authorities to gain a better understanding of how a bank’s failure may affect employment and economic activity. Similar data, used in a model of network contagion, help assess the impact of a bank’s failure on the rest of the system. While the measures proposed in this special feature are not embedded in O-SII or G-SII scores, some evidence suggests that the concepts discussed have informed decisions of macroprudential authorities.