Given the importance of capital regulation in the banking industry, how and why a bank’s behavior reacts to a recapitalization has profound consequences. To this end, we investigate the effects of 306 seasoned equity offerings (SEOs) conducted by listed European banks between 2002 and 2014. We use propen- sity score matching and find that SEOs lead to asset expansion as opposed to any deleveraging. Further, we find a decrease in lending in the short-term followed by a subsequent increase, a reduction in prof- itability, and an increase in systemic risk. Regulators might not have fully considered this last negative externality when they imposed the tougher Basel III capital requirements. The effects of SEOs strongly depend on the reasons behind the recapitalizations.