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 Cluster
Financial Stability and Regulation

Your contact

Professor Dr Lena Tonzer
Professor Dr Lena Tonzer
Mitglied - Department Financial Markets
Send Message +49 345 7753-835 Personal page

EXTERNAL FUNDING

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.

Professor Dr Lena Tonzer

01.2015 ‐ 12.2017

Dynamic Interactions between Banks and the Real Economy

German Research Foundation (DFG)

Professor Dr Felix Noth

Refereed Publications

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Cross-border Interbank Networks, Banking Risk and Contagion

Lena Tonzer

in: Journal of Financial Stability, 2015

Abstract

Recent events have highlighted the role of cross-border linkages between banking systems in transmitting local developments across national borders. This paper analyzes whether international linkages in interbank markets affect the stability of interconnected banking systems and channel financial distress within a network consisting of banking systems of the main advanced countries for the period 1994–2012. Methodologically, I use a spatial modeling approach to test for spillovers in cross-border interbank markets. The results suggest that foreign exposures in banking play a significant role in channeling banking risk: I find that countries that are linked through foreign borrowing or lending positions to more stable banking systems abroad are significantly affected by positive spillover effects. From a policy point of view, this implies that in stable times, linkages in the banking system can be beneficial, while they have to be taken with caution in times of financial turmoil affecting the whole system.

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Should I Stay or Should I Go? Bank Productivity and Internationalization Decisions

Claudia M. Buch C. T. Koch Michael Koetter

in: Journal of Banking & Finance, No. 42, 2014

Abstract

Differences in firm-level productivity explain international activities of non-financial firms quite well. We test whether differences in bank productivity determine international activities of banks. Based on a dataset that allows tracking banks across countries and across different modes of foreign entry, we model the ordered probability of maintaining a commercial presence abroad and the volume of banks’ international assets empirically. Our research has three main findings. First, more productive banks are more likely to enter foreign markets in increasingly complex modes. Second, more productive banks also hold larger volumes of foreign assets. Third, higher risk aversion renders entry less likely, but it increases the volume of foreign activities conditional upon entry.

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The Impact of Public Guarantees on Bank Risk-taking: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Reint E. Gropp C. Gruendl Andre Guettler

in: Review of Finance, No. 2, 2014

Abstract

In 2001, government guarantees for savings banks in Germany were removed following a lawsuit. We use this natural experiment to examine the effect of government guarantees on bank risk-taking. The results suggest that banks whose government guarantee was removed reduced credit risk by cutting off the riskiest borrowers from credit. Using a difference-in-differences approach we show that none of these effects are present in a control group of German banks to whom the guarantee was not applicable. Furthermore, savings banks adjusted their liabilities away from risk-sensitive debt instruments after the removal of the guarantee, while we do not observe this for the control group. We also document that yield spreads of savings banks’ bonds increased significantly right after the announcement of the decision to remove guarantees, while the yield spread of a sample of bonds issued by the control group remained unchanged. The evidence implies that public guarantees may be associated with substantial moral hazard effects.

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Do Banks Benefit from Internationalization? Revisiting the Market Power–Risk Nexus

Claudia M. Buch C. T. Koch Michael Koetter

in: Review of Finance, No. 4, 2013

Abstract

We analyze the impact of bank internationalization on domestic market power (Lerner index) and risk for German banks. Risk is measured by the official declaration of regulatory authorities that a bank is distressed. We distinguish the volume of foreign assets, the number of foreign countries, and different modes of foreign entry. Our analysis has three main results. First, higher market power is associated with lower risk. Second, holding assets in many countries reduce market power at home, but banks with a higher share of foreign assets exhibit higher market power. Third, bank internationalization is only weakly related to bank risk.

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Initial Evidence from a New Database on Capital Market Restrictions

Makram El-Shagi

in: Panoeconomicus, No. 3, 2012

Abstract

One of the key obstacles to the empirical analysis of capital controls has been the unavailability of a detailed set of indicators for controls that cover a broad set of countries over a range of years. In this paper, we propose a new set of indicators derived from the Annual Reports on Exchange Arrangements and Export Restrictions. Contrary to most earlier attempts to construct control indicators from this source, our set of indices allows one to analyze the control intensity separately for inflow, outflow and repatriation controls. An additional set of indicators features information on the institutional design of controls. At first glance, the data show that the financial crisis caused a surge in capital market restrictions, most notably concerning the derivatives market. This reflex, which is not justified by the scarce empirical evidence on the success of controls, shows the importance of having a valid measure to allow an econometrically sound policy evaluation in this field. The data are available from the author upon request.

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Working Papers

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Interactions between Bank Levies and Corporate Taxes: How is the Bank Leverage Affected?

F. Bremus Kirsten Schmidt Lena Tonzer

in: ESRB Working Paper Series, No. 103, 2019

Abstract

Regulatory bank levies set incentives for banks to reduce leverage. At the same time, corporate income taxation makes funding through debt more attractive. In this paper, we explore how regulatory levies affect bank capital structure, depending on corporate income taxation. Based on bank balance sheet data from 2006 to 2014 for a panel of EU-banks, our analysis yields three main results: The introduction of bank levies leads to lower leverage as liabilities become more expensive. This effect is weaker the more elevated corporate income taxes are. In countries charging very high corporate income taxes, the incentives of bank levies to reduce leverage turn ineffective. Thus, bank levies can counteract the debt bias of taxation only partially.

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Do Conventional Monetary Policy Instruments Matter in Unconventional Times?

Manuel Buchholz Kirsten Schmidt Lena Tonzer

in: Deutsche Bundesbank Discussion Paper, No. 27, 2019

Abstract

This paper investigates how declines in the deposit facility rate set by the ECB affect euro area banks’ incentives to hold reserves at the central bank. We find that, in the face of lower deposit rates, banks with a more interest-sensitive business model are more likely to reduce reserve holdings and allocate freed-up liquidity to loans. The result is driven by well-capitalized banks in the non-GIIPS countries of the euro area. This reveals that conventional monetary policy instruments have limited effects in restoring monetary policy transmission during times of crisis.

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Interactions Between Regulatory and Corporate Taxes: How Is Bank Leverage Affected?

F. Bremus Kirsten Schmidt Lena Tonzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 16, 2018

Abstract

Regulatory bank levies set incentives for banks to reduce leverage. At the same time, corporate income taxation makes funding through debt more attractive. In this paper, we explore how regulatory levies affect bank capital structure, depending on corporate income taxation. Based on bank balance sheet data from 2006 to 2014 for a panel of EU-banks, our analysis yields three main results: The introduction of bank levies leads to lower leverage as liabilities become more expensive. This effect is weaker the more elevated corporate income taxes are. In countries charging very high corporate income taxes, the incentives of bank levies to reduce leverage turn ineffective. Thus, bank levies can counteract the debt bias of taxation only partially.

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Do Conventional Monetary Policy Instruments Matter in Unconventional Times?

Manuel Buchholz Kirsten Schmidt Lena Tonzer

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 12, 2017

Abstract

This paper investigates how declines in the deposit facility rate set by the European Central Bank (ECB) affect bank behavior. The ECB aims to reduce banks’ incentives to hold reserves at the central bank and thus to encourage loan supply. However, given depressed margins in a low interest environment, banks might reallocate their liquidity toward more profitable liquid assets other than traditional loans. Our analysis is based on a sample of euro area banks for the period from 2009 to 2014. Three key findings arise. First, banks reduce their reserve holdings following declines in the deposit facility rate. Second, this effect is heterogeneous across banks depending on their business model. Banks with a more interest-sensitive business model are more responsive to changes in the deposit facility rate. Third, there is evidence of a reallocation of liquidity toward loans but not toward other liquid assets. This result is most pronounced for non-GIIPS countries of the euro area.

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Inside Asset Purchase Programs: The Effects of Unconventional Policy on Banking Competition

Michael Koetter Natalia Podlich Michael Wedow

in: ECB Working Paper Series, No. 2017, 2017

Abstract

We test if unconventional monetary policy instruments influence the competitive conduct of banks. Between q2:2010 and q1:2012, the ECB absorbed Euro 218 billion worth of government securities from five EMU countries under the Securities Markets Programme (SMP). Using detailed security holdings data at the bank level, we show that banks exposed to this unexpected (loose) policy shock mildly gained local loan and deposit market shares. Shifts in market shares are driven by banks that increased SMP security holdings during the lifetime of the program and that hold the largest relative SMP portfolio shares. Holding other securities from periphery countries that were not part of the SMP amplifies the positive market share responses. Monopolistic rents approximated by Lerner indices are lower for SMP banks, suggesting a role of the SMP to re-distribute market power differentially, but not necessarily banking profits.

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