Do negative interest rates matter for bank performance? This paper investigates whether monetary policy surprises impact bank stock prices differently in times of positive and negative interest rates. The analysis controls for broad stock market movements and finds that an unanticipated downward shift in the yield curve and a flattening of the shorter-end of the yield curve resulting from monetary policy announcements reduce bank stock prices in a low and especially negative interest rate environment. The effects persist in the days after the monetary policy announcement and are larger for banks relatively dependent on deposit funding. By contrast, a surprise movement in the slope of the longer-end of the yield curve does not impact bank stock prices in a negative interest rate environment. The results indicate that when market interest rates are negative but deposit rates stuck at zero, monetary policy instruments that target the longer-end of the yield curve are less detrimental to bank performance than those that target the shorter-end of the yield curve.
Keywords: Monetary policy, bank stock prices, negative interest rates.
JEL classifications: E43, E44, E52, G12, G21.
Working paper no. 694