Some evidence on the relevance of bank behaviour for the lending channel in the Netherlands

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This paper studies the behaviour of Dutch banks. We test the adjustment of banks' balance sheets in times of monetary policy changes during the period 1957-1991. As a reaction to a policy change, banks basically have two alternatives to adjust their net money creation: (1) sell securities in public capital markers, and/or issue long-term liabilities, and (2) change domestic loan supply. If banks opt for the latter a lending channel may be relevant, even in a small open economy with a fixed exchange rate and a high degree of international capital mobility. We test for the effectiveness of both indirect and direct instruments of monetary policy. It turns out that in case of changes in the official interest rate, the volume of bank loans is not affected and that banks display a kind of buffer-stock behaviour by diminishing their publicly traded assets. In situations with quantity restrictions on the growth of net money creation, however, the volume of loans is affected significantly when the quantity restriction is withdrawn thereby fulfilling a necessary condition for the bank lending channel to be effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-37
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar-1999


  • monetary policy
  • capital market imperfections
  • banking behaviour

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