Working Paper

Credit risk analysis of credit card portfolios under economic stress conditions

Abstract: We develop an empirical framework for the credit risk analysis of a generic portfolio of revolving credit accounts and apply it to analyze a representative panel data set of credit card accounts from a credit bureau. These data cover the period of the most recent deep recession and provide the opportunity to analyze the performance of such a portfolio under significant economic stress conditions. We consider a traditional framework for the analysis of credit risk where the probability of default (PD), loss given default (LGD), and exposure at default (EAD) are explicitly considered. The unsecure and revolving nature of credit card lending is naturally modeled in this framework. Our results indicate that unemployment, and in particular the level and change in unemployment, plays a significant role in the probability of transition across delinquency states in general and the probability of default in particular. The effect is heterogeneous and proportionally has a more significant impact for high credit score and for high-utilization accounts. Our results also indicate that unemployment and a downturn in economic conditions play a quantitatively small, or even irrelevant, role in the changes in account balance associated with changes in an account?s delinquency status, and in the exposure at default specifically. The impact of a downturn in economic conditions and, in particular, changes in unemployment on the recovery rate and loss given default is found to be large. These findings are of particular relevance for the analysis of credit risk regulatory capital under the IRB

Keywords: Credit; Unemployment;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2012

Number: 12-18