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Differential Capital Requirements: Leverage Ratio versus Risk-Based Capital Ratio from a Monitoring Perspective


In this paper, I attempt to amalgamate the study of leverage-ratio performance with the monitoring decisions of a profit-maximizing bank. Applying tools used in studying the industrial organization of banking, my paper serves as a first step to tying the performance differences between the leverage and risk-based constraints to the more fundamental issue of monitoring. Does a bank faced with a leverage based capital constraint monitor its loans better than a bank under a risk-based capital constraint? In a market that is characterized by a dominant bank and fringe banks, I seek to understand if the dominant bank monitors its loan when faced with a Basel III–style leverage ratio. The results show that under certain parameter ranges, the dominant bank will monitor its portfolio when faced with a leverage-based capital constraint. The results also show that the dominant bank will not monitor its portfolio when faced with a risk-based capital constraint.

Keywords: Differential capital requirements, dominant-bank model, bank loan monitoring.

JEL Code: G2.


Suggested citation: Balasubramanyan, Lakshmi, 2014. “Differential Capital Requirements: Leverage Ratio versus Risk Based Capital Ratio from a Monitoring Perspective,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 14-15.

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