Working Paper Series, University of Zurich, Department of Economics 169
We examine mortgage pricing before and after Switzerland was the first country to activate the Counter-Cyclical Capital Buffer of Basel III. Observing multiple mortgage offers per request, we obtain three core findings. First, capitalconstrained and mortgage-specialized banks raise their rates relatively more. Second, risk-weighting schemes supposed to discriminate against more risky borrowers do not amplify the effect of higher capital requirements. Third, CCBsubjected banks and CCB-exempt insurers raise mortgage rates, but insurers raise rates by on average 8.8 bp more. To conclude, lenders welcome the opportunity to increase mortgage rates, but stricter capital requirements do not discourage banks from risky mortgage lending.