Reserve Requirements and Financial Stability

This study assesses the effects of reserve requirements on the probability of bank failure and compares them to those of capital requirements. While both requirements affect banks' balance sheets and lending rates similarly, their effects on financial stability can differ markedly. When adjustment in deposit rates is constrained, the cost effect arising from higher reserve requirements may incentivise banks to choose riskier assets rendering worse financial conditions. Borrowers' moral hazard problem augments these adverse effects. They are mitigated when considering imperfectly correlated loan-default as higher interest revenues from non-defaulting loans curb losses from defaulting loans.