Given ongoing financial disintermediation and the need for central banks to establish interest rate corridors, commercial banks have increasingly enriched their asset allocation choices, forming an allocation pattern that combines traditional credit assets (loans) and financial assets (interbank and securities investment). Due to the long-standing dual interest rate system in China, the yields of credit assets and financial assets have differed, which means the latter has greater volatility. Using the quarterly panel data of 23 listed commercial banks in China from 2002 to 2017, the empirical results of this paper show that the fluctuation of the return rate of the two types of assets will affect the asset allocation of banks. Specifically, on the one hand, when the price of financial assets falls, which leads to the narrowing of the credit spread between the two types of assets, banks reduce transaction demand to prevent loss and reduce their holdings of financial assets, thus increasing the ratio of their credit assets to financial assets. On the other hand, rising benchmark lending rates leads to the increase in the credit financing cost of demanders, reducing the willingness of demanders to lend, forcing the demander to obtain funds through other channels. This results in the decrease in the ratio of credit assets to financial assets. Furthermore, the financial characteristics of banks also influence the dynamic adjustment range of asset allocation. That is, the lower the reserve ratio and capital adequacy ratio, the smaller the impact of financial asset yield volatility on bank asset allocation.
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