Anchoring countercyclical capital buffers: the role of credit aggregates

BIS Working Papers  |  No 355  | 
07 November 2011


We investigate the performance of different variables as anchors for setting the level of the countercyclical regulatory capital buffer requirements for banks. The gap between the ratio of credit-to-GDP and its long-term backward-looking trend performs best as an indicator for the accumulation of capital as this variable captures the build-up of system-wide vulnerabilities that typically lead to banking crises. Other indicators, such as credit spreads, are better in indicating the release phase as they are contemporaneous signals of banking sector distress that can precede a credit crunch.

JEL Classification: E44, E61, G21

Keywords: countercyclical capital buffers, financial stability, procyclicality