Financial System Adaptability and Resilience

This research group investigates critical aspects of financial system adaptability and resilience. First, it analyses the impact of natural disasters on financial systems. Second, the group aims to investigate the effects of political preferences for the green transition. Third, the group's research analyses the role of culture in economies.

Research Cluster
Financial Resilience and Regulation

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Professor Dr Felix Noth
Professor Dr Felix Noth
Mitglied - Department Financial Markets
Send Message +49 345 7753-702 Personal page


07.2016 ‐ 12.2018

Relationship Lenders and Unorthodox Monetary Policy: Investment, Employment, and Resource Reallocation Effects

Leibniz Association

We combine a number of unique and proprietary data sources to measure the impact of relationship lenders and unconventional monetary policy during and after the European sovereign debt crisis on the real economy. Establishing systematic links between different research data centers (Forschungsdatenzentren, FDZ) and central banks with detailed micro-level information on both financial and real activity is the stand-alone proposition of our proposal. The main objective is to permit the identification of causal effects, or their absence, regarding which policies were conducive to mitigate financial shocks and stimulate real economic activities, such as employment, investment, or the closure of plants.

Professor Michael Koetter, PhD
Professor Dr Steffen Müller

01.2015 ‐ 12.2019

Interactions between Bank-specific Risk and Macroeconomic Performance

German Research Foundation (DFG)

Professor Dr Felix Noth

Refereed Publications


Political Uncertainty and Bank Loan Contracts: Does Government Quality Matter?

Iftekhar Hasan Ying-Chen Huang Yin-Siang Huang Chih-Yung Lin

in: Journal of Financial Services Research, December 2021


We investigate the relation between political uncertainty and bank loan spreads using a sample of loan contracts for the G20 firms during the period from 1982 to 2015. We find that banks charge firms higher loan spreads and require more covenants during election years when domestic political risks are elevated. Greater differences in the support ratios of opinion polls on candidates lead to the lower cost of bank loans. This political effect also lessens when the government quality of the borrower’s country is better than that of the lender’s country. Better quality government can lower the political risk component of bank loan spreads.

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Do Banks Value Borrowers' Environmental Record? Evidence from Financial Contracts

I-Ju Chen Iftekhar Hasan Chih-Yung Lin Tra Ngoc Vy Nguyen

in: Journal of Business Ethics, December 2021


Banks play a unique role in society. They not only maximize profits but also consider the interests of stakeholders. We investigate whether banks consider firms’ pollution records in their lending decisions. The evidence shows that banks offer significantly higher loan spreads, higher total borrowing costs, shorter loan maturities, and greater collateral to firms with higher levels of chemical pollution. The costly effects are stronger for borrowers with greater risk and weaker corporate governance. Further, the results show that banks with higher social responsibility account for their borrowers’ environmental performance and charge higher loan spreads to those with poor performance. These results support the idea that banks with higher social responsibility can promote the practice of business ethics in firms.

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The Impact of Political Uncertainty on Institutional Ownership

Bill Francis Iftekhar Hasan Yun Zhu

in: Journal of Financial Stability, December 2021


This paper provides original evidence from institutional investors that political uncertainty greatly affects investment behavior. Using institutional holdings of common stock, we find that institutions significantly reduce their holdings by 0.8–2.3% points during presidential election years. Such effect holds for gubernatorial elections with cross-state-border difference-in-difference analysis and for tests using a political uncertainty index. The effect is the opposite for American Depository Receipts (ADRs). In addition, we find that institutions benefit financially from the observed strategy, and such strategy is in line with predicted outcomes of presidential election polls.

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Banking Globalization, Local Lending, and Labor Market Effects: Micro-level Evidence from Brazil

Felix Noth Matias Ossandon Busch

in: Journal of Financial Stability, October 2021


Recent financial crises have prompted the interest in understanding how banking globalization interacts with domestic institutions in shaping foreign shocks’ transmission. This paper uses regional banking data from Brazil to show that a foreign funding shock to banks negatively affects lending by their regional branches. This effect increases in the presence of frictions in internal capital markets, which affect branches’ capacity to access funding from other regions via intra-bank linkages. These results also matter on an aggregate level, as municipality-level credit and job flows drop in exposed regions. Policies aiming to reduce the fragmented structure of regional banking markets could moderate the propagation of foreign shocks.

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Stock Price Fragility and the Cost of Bank Loans

Bill Francis Iftekhar Hasan Yinjie (Victor) Shen Pengfei Ye

in: Journal of Empirical Finance, September 2021


This study examines whether the flow volatility experienced by institutional investors affects firms’ financing costs. Using Greenwood and Thesmar’s (2011) stock price fragility measure, we find that there is a positive relationship between fragility and firms’ costs of bank loans. This effect is most pronounced when lenders rely more on institutional shareholders to discipline corporate management, or when loans are made by relationship lenders, suggesting that unstable flows could weaken institutional investors’ monitoring effectiveness and strengthen relationship banks’ bargaining power.

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Working Papers


‘And Forgive Us Our Debts’: Do Christian Moralities Influence Over-indebtedness of Individuals?

Iftekhar Hasan Konstantin Kiesel Felix Noth

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 8, 2019


This paper analyses whether Christian moralities and rules formed differently by Catholics and Protestants impact the likelihood of households to become overindebted. We find that over-indebtedness is lower in regions in which Catholics outweigh Protestants, indicating that Catholics‘ forgiveness culture and a stricter enforcement of rules by Protestants serve as explanations for our results. Our results provide evidence that religion affects the financial situations of individuals and show that even 500 years after the split between Catholics and Protestants, the differences in the mind-sets of both denominations play an important role for situations of severe financial conditions.

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What Drives Banks‘ Geographic Expansion? The Role of Locally Non-diversifiable Risk

Reint E. Gropp Felix Noth Ulrich Schüwer

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 6, 2019


We show that banks that are facing relatively high locally non-diversifiable risks in their home region expand more across states than banks that do not face such risks following branching deregulation in the 1990s and 2000s. These banks with high locally non-diversifiable risks also benefit relatively more from deregulation in terms of higher bank stability. Further, these banks expand more into counties where risks are relatively high and positively correlated with risks in their home region, suggesting that they do not only diversify but also build on their expertise in local risks when they expand into new regions.

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Politics, Banks, and Sub-sovereign Debt: Unholy Trinity or Divine Coincidence?

Michael Koetter Alexander Popov

in: Deutsche Bundesbank Discussion Paper, No. 53, 2018


We exploit election-driven turnover in State and local governments in Germany to study how banks adjust their securities portfolios in response to the loss of political connections. We find that local savings banks, which are owned by their host county and supervised by local politicians, increase significantly their holdings of home-State sovereign bonds when the local government and the State government are dominated by different political parties. Banks' holdings of other securities, like federal bonds, bonds issued by other States, or stocks, are not affected by election outcomes. We argue that banks use sub-sovereign bond purchases to gain access to politically distant government authorities.

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May the Force Be with You: Exit Barriers, Governance Shocks, and Profitability Sclerosis in Banking

Michael Koetter Carola Müller Felix Noth Benedikt Fritz

in: Deutsche Bundesbank Discussion Paper, No. 49, 2018


We test whether limited market discipline imposes exit barriers and poor profitability in banking. We exploit an exogenous shock to the governance of government-owned banks: the unification of counties. County mergers lead to enforced government-owned bank mergers. We compare forced to voluntary bank exits and show that the former cause better bank profitability and efficiency at the expense of riskier financial profiles. Regarding real effects, firms exposed to forced bank mergers borrow more at lower cost, increase investment, and exhibit higher employment. Thus, reduced exit frictions in banking seem to unleash the economic potential of both banks and firms.

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Banks Fearing the Drought? Liquidity Hoarding as a Response to Idiosyncratic Interbank Funding Dry-ups

Helge Littke Matias Ossandon Busch

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 12, 2018


Since the global financial crisis, economic literature has highlighted banks’ inclination to bolster up their liquid asset positions once the aggregate interbank funding market experiences a dry-up. To this regard, we show that liquidity hoarding and its detrimental effects on credit can also be triggered by idiosyncratic, i.e. bankspecific, interbank funding shocks with implications for monetary policy. Combining a unique data set of the Brazilian banking sector with a novel identification strategy enables us to overcome previous limitations for studying this phenomenon as a bankspecific event. This strategy further helps us to analyse how disruptions in the bank headquarters’ interbank market can lead to liquidity and lending adjustments at the regional bank branch level. From the perspective of the policy maker, understanding this market-to-market spillover effect is important as local bank branch markets are characterised by market concentration and relationship lending.

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