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Banks’ Maturity Transformation: Risk, Reward, and Policy


Pierluigi Bologna

Publication Date:

March 9, 2018

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to study the determinants of banks’ net interest margin with a particular focus on the role of maturity transformation, using a new measure of maturity mismatch; second, to analyse the implications for banks from the relaxation of a binding prudential limit on maturity mismatch, in place in Italy until mid-2000s. The results show that maturity transformation is a relevant driver of the net interest margin, as higher maturity transformation is typically associated with higher net interest margin. However, ‘excessive’ maturity transformation— even without leading to systemic vulnerabilities— increases banks’ interest rate risk exposure and lowers their net interest margin.