The rate elasticity of retail deposits in the United Kingdom: a macroeconomic investigation

Working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 07 August 2015

Working Paper No. 540
By Ching-Wai (Jeremy) Chiu and John Hill 

This paper quantitatively studies the behaviour of major banks’ household deposit funding in the United Kingdom. We estimate a panel of Bayesian vector autoregressive models on a unique data set compiled by the Bank of England, and identify deposit demand and supply shocks, both to individual banks and in aggregate, using micro-founded sign restrictions. Based on the impulse responses, we estimate how much banks would be required to increase their deposit rates by to cover a deposit gap caused by funding shocks. Banks generally find it costly to bid-up for deposits to cover a funding gap in the short run. The elasticity of household deposits with respect to the interest rate paid are typically of the order of 0.3, indicating that retail deposits are rate-inelastic. But this varies across banks and the types of shock conditioned on. We also show evidence that banks are more vulnerable to deposit supply shocks than deposit demand shocks. Historical decompositions uncover plausible shock dynamics in the historical data.

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