Evaluating Sovereign Risk Spillovers on Domestic Banks During the European Debt Crisis – Economic Modelling – article

Evaluating Sovereign Risk Spillovers on Domestic Banks During the European Debt Crisis

Benjamin Keddad, Christophe Schalck | Economic Modelling


Using a Markov-switching model with time-varying probabilities, spillovers from sovereign to domestic bank CDS spreads during the European debt crisis for a set of 14 European countries and 30 European banks are investigated. Our model is able to capture how the increased sovereign risk observed between 2010 and 2013 throughout Europe has impacted i) the probability that banks fall into a crisis regime and ii) the probability that banks stay in the crisis regime. The latter state is characterized by a high volatility and large positive returns of CDS spreads. Different regime-dependent indicators have been computed to assess heterogeneity within the region. The evidence indicates that the intensification of sovereign risk observed during the European debt crisis has positively and significantly driven the regime shifts in volatility of the bank CDS spreads due to increased risk aversion. The results show that the increase in sovereign credit risk seems to have generated second-round effects for some banks that have experienced a deterioration in their funding conditions due to a rise in the domestic sovereign default risk. Overall, our results suggest that sovereign CDS spreads can be considered good forewarning indicators for predicting the evolution of bank CDS spreads. We also find that the effects differ depending on the country and the financial institution. This result suggests that banks are heterogeneously exposed to sovereign credit risk within the same country. One argument relates to the size of these financial institutions and the domestic exposure to sovereign debt.


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