Covered Bonds

2054 words 9 pages
With liquidly rationing, (credit crunch) does offering covered bonds hold the answer or does it just offer banks the opportunity to increase their margin?. Discuss critically.
Introduction
In the modern day world, with technology and global markets expanding, the need for credit is a constant issue for economies to monitor. Liquidity rationing has been most relevant since the GFC, when the credit market essentially froze, sending financial markets in turmoil. Therefore finding ways to increase liquidity at a time when markets are volatile requires instruments of low risk. Covered bonds have recently gained momentum as a popular tool for banks to increase their liquidity whilst taking on very limited risk.

Theory
A Credit Crunch also
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This market provides a useful funding source for mortgage lending. For example, the issuance of covered bonds enables banks to match liability duration relative to its mortgage loan portfolio. As a result, this improves a bank’s ability to manage funding and interest rate risk. “In times of financial crisis, the risk appetite of investors shifted towards less risky assets.” (Bernanke, 2009)
As the crisis progressed and became more intensive at the beginning of 2009, spreads in the euro area covered bond market continued to widen, and liquidity continued to worsen. The financial crisis exacerbated the lack of confidence between banks, leading to a halt in interbank market activity. In turn, this raised concerns about the liquidity risk of a large number of banks and, to a certain extent, their solvency, thereby threatening the whole banking system. This scenario sets the context for the introduction of the European Central Bank’s decision to provide support to the covered bond market in the euro area through outright purchases of covered bonds under the Covered Bond Purchase Programme (CBPP). This is evident in graph 2 shows the increase in covered bonds as opposed to unsecured and government-guaranteed bonds.
Graph 2

(RBA, 2012)
The rationale for selecting covered bonds to purchase outrightly over any other asset class can be summarised as follows

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