We show empirically that banks' exposure to interest rate risk, or income gap, plays a crucial role in monetary policy transmission. In a first step, we show that banks typically retain a large exposure to interest rates that can be predicted with income gap. Secondly, we show that income gap also predicts the sensitivity of bank lending to interest rates. Quantitatively, a 100 basis point increase in the Fed funds rate leads a bank at the 75th percentile of the income gap distribution to increase lending by about 1.6 percentage points annually relative to a bank at the 25th percentile.
TSE Working Paper, n. 13-438, February 2013