Regulation of International Financial Markets and International Banking
This research group analyses causes and consequences of banks' international activities and the regulatory framework they operate in.
Internationally active banks can facilitate an efficient international allocation of capital and provide channels for international risk sharing. But they can also be a source of financial instabilities themselves, thus contributing to international contagion and risk-shifting. This is one reason for the current re-regulation of international banking.
The research group contributes to the literature in three ways. First, the group empirically analyses the channels through which shocks are transmitted by internationally active banks. Second, the group analyses the build-up of aggregate imbalances in integrated banking markets and resulting consequences for the real economy. Third, the group analyses the impact of changes in banking supervision and regulation on (inter)national activities of banks, with a special focus on the European integration process.
IWH Data Project: International Banking Library
Research ClusterFinancial Stability and Regulation
07.2017 ‐ 12.2022
The Political Economy of the European Banking Union
European Social Fund (ESF)
Causes of national differences in the implementation of the Banking Union and the resulting impact on financial stability.
01.2015 ‐ 12.2017
Dynamic Interactions between Banks and the Real Economy
German Research Foundation (DFG)
Political Influence and Financial Flexibility: Evidence from China
in: Journal of Banking and Finance, February 2019
This paper investigates how political influence affects firms’ financial flexibility and speed of adjustment toward target leverage ratios. We find that at the macro level, firms in environments with high political advantages, proxied by provincial affiliations with heads of state as well as political status and party rank of provincial leaders, adjust faster. At the micro level, firms that are state-owned, have CPC members as executives, or bear low exposure to changes in political uncertainty adjust faster. When interacted, the micro-level political factors have more significant impact.
Banks Response to Higher Capital Requirements: Evidence from a Quasi-natural Experiment
in: Review of Financial Studies, No. 1, 2019
We study the impact of higher capital requirements on banks’ balance sheets and their transmission to the real economy. The 2011 EBA capital exercise is an almost ideal quasi-natural experiment to identify this impact with a difference-in-differences matching estimator. We find that treated banks increase their capital ratios by reducing their risk-weighted assets, not by raising their levels of equity, consistent with debt overhang. Banks reduce lending to corporate and retail customers, resulting in lower asset, investment, and sales growth for firms obtaining a larger share of their bank credit from the treated banks.
Big Fish in Small Banking Ponds? Cost Advantages and Foreign Affiliate Presences
in: Journal of International Money and Finance, 2018
We distinguish cost advantage at home from cost advantage vis-à-vis incumbent banks in destination markets to explain the probability of foreign bank affiliate lending. We combine detailed affiliate lending data of all German banks with public bank micro data from 59 destination markets. The likelihood to operate foreign affiliates depends positively on both types of cost advantage. Only cost advantage at home is economically significant. Generally, risk, return, and unobservable bank traits explain a larger share of the variation in foreign affiliate operations. Less profitable, more risky, and larger banks are more likely to operate affiliates abroad.
Hidden Gems and Borrowers with Dirty Little Secrets: Investment in Soft Information, Borrower Self-selection and Competition
in: Journal of Banking and Finance, No. 2, 2018
This paper empirically examines the role of soft information in the competitive interaction between relationship and transaction banks. Soft information can be interpreted as a valuable signal about the quality of a firm that is observable to a relationship bank, but not to a transaction bank. We show that borrowers self-select to relationship banks depending on whether their observed soft information is positive or negative. Competition affects the investment in learning the soft information from firms by relationship banks and transaction banks asymmetrically. Relationship banks invest more; transaction banks invest less in soft information, exacerbating the selection effect.
International Banking and Cross-border Effects of Regulation: Lessons from Germany
in: International Journal of Central Banking, Supplement 1, March 2017
We analyze the inward and outward transmission of regulatory changes through German banks’ (international) loan portfolio. Overall, our results provide evidence for international spillovers of prudential instruments. These spillovers are, however, quite heterogeneous between types of banks and can only be observed for some instruments. For instance, domestic affiliates of foreign-owned global banks reduce their loan growth to the German economy in response to a tightening of sector-specific capital buffers, local reserve requirements, and loan-to-value ratios in their home country. Furthermore, from the point of view of foreign countries, tightening reserve requirements is effective in reducing lending inflows from German banks. Finally, we find that business and financial cycles matter for lending decisions.
Completing the European Banking Union: Capital Cost Consequences for Credit Providers and Corporate Borrowers
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 4, 2021
The bank recovery and resolution directive (BRRD) regulates the bail-in hierarchy to resolve distressed banks without burdening tax payers. We exploit the staggered implementation of the BRRD across 15 European Union (EU) member states to identify banks’ capital cost and capital structure responses. In a first stage, we show that average capital costs of banks increased. WACC hikes are lowest in the core countries of the European Monetary Union (EMU) compared to formerly stressed EMU and non-EMU countries. This pattern is driven by changes in the relative WACC weight of equity in response to the BRRD, which indicates enhanced financial system resilience. In a second stage, we document asymmetric transmission patterns of banks’ capital cost changes on to corporates’ borrowing terms. Only EMU banks located in core countries that exhibit higher WACC are those that also increase firms’ borrowing cost and contract credit supply. Hence, the BRRD had unintended consequences for selected segments of the real economy.
The Cleansing Effect of Banking Crises
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 12, 2020
We assess the cleansing effects of the recent banking crisis. In U.S. regions with higher levels of supervisory forbearance on distressed banks during the crisis, there is less restructuring in the real sector and the banking sector remains less healthy for several years after the crisis. Regions with less supervisory forbearance experience higher productivity growth after the crisis with more firm entries, job creation, and employment, wages, patents, and output growth. Supervisory forbearance is greater for state-chartered banks and in regions with weaker banking competition and more independent banks, while recapitalisation of distressed banks through TARP does not facilitate cleansing.
The Cleansing Effect of Banking Crises
in: Centre for Economic Policy Research Discussion Papers, 2020
We assess the cleansing effects of the recent banking crisis. In U.S. regions with higher levels of supervisory forbearance on distressed banks during the crisis, there is less restructuring in the real sector and the banking sector remains less healthy for several years after the crisis. Regions with less supervisory forbearance experience higher productivity growth after the crisis with more firm entries, job creation, and employment, wages, patents, and output growth. Supervisory forbearance is greater for state-chartered banks and in regions with weaker banking competition and more independent banks, while recapitalization of distressed banks through TARP does not facilitate cleansing.
Financial Linkages and Sectoral Business Cycle Synchronisation: Evidence from Europe
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 2, 2020
We analyse whether financial integration between countries leads to converging or diverging business cycles using a dynamic spatial model. Our model allows for contemporaneous spillovers of shocks to GDP growth between countries that are financially integrated and delivers a scalar measure of the spillover intensity at each point in time. For a financial network of ten European countries from 1996-2017, we find that the spillover effects are positive on average but much larger during periods of financial stress, pointing towards stronger business cycle synchronisation. Dismantling GDP growth into value added growth of ten major industries, we observe that some sectors are strongly affected by positive spillovers (wholesale & retail trade, industrial production), others only to a weaker degree (agriculture, construction, finance), while more nationally influenced industries show no evidence for significant spillover effects (public administration, arts & entertainment, real estate).
Do We Want These Two to Tango? On Zombie Firms and Stressed Banks in Europe
in: ECB Working Paper, 2017
We show that the speed and type of corporate deleveraging depends on the interaction between corporate and financial sector health. Based on granular bank-firm data pertaining to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) from five stressed and two non-stressed euro area economies, we show that “zombie” firms generally continued to lever up during the 2010–2014 period. Whereas relationships with stressed banks reduce SME leverage on average, we also show that zombie firms that are tied to weak banks in euro area periphery countries increase their indebtedness even further. Sustainable economic recovery therefore requires both: deleveraging of banks and firms.