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)
Sovereign Credit Risk Co-movements in the Eurozone: Simple Interdependence or Contagion?
in: International Finance, No. 3, 2016
We investigate credit risk co-movements and contagion in the sovereign debt markets of 17 industrialized countries during the period 2008–2012. We use dynamic conditional correlations of sovereign credit default swap spreads to detect contagion. This approach allows us to separate contagion channels from the determinants of simple interdependence. The results show that, first, sovereign credit risk co-moves considerably, particularly among eurozone countries and during the sovereign debt crisis. Second, contagion varies across time and countries. Third, similarities in economic fundamentals, cross-country linkages in banking and common market sentiment constitute the main channels of contagion.
Taxing Banks: An Evaluation of the German Bank Levy
in: Journal of Banking and Finance, November 2016
Bank distress can have severe negative consequences for the stability of the financial system. Regimes for the restructuring and resolution of banks, financed by bank levies, aim at reducing these costs. This paper evaluates the German bank levy, which has been implemented since 2011. Our analysis offers three main insights. First, revenues raised through the levy were lower than expected. Second, the bulk of the payments were contributed by large commercial banks and by the central institutions of savings banks and credit unions. Third, for those banks, which were affected by the levy, we find evidence for a reduction in lending and higher deposit rates.
Bank Recapitalization, Regulatory Intervention, and Repayment
in: Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, No. 7, 2016
We use prudential supervisory data for all German banks during 1994–2010 to test if regulatory interventions affect the likelihood that bailed-out banks repay capital support. Accounting for the selection bias inherent in nonrandom bank bailouts by insurance schemes and the endogenous administration of regulatory interventions, we show that regulators can increase the likelihood of repayment substantially. An increase in intervention frequencies by one standard deviation increases the annual probability of capital support repayment by 7%. Sturdy interventions, like restructuring orders, are effective, whereas weak measures reduce repayment probabilities. Intervention effects last up to 5 years.
Lend Global, Fund Local? Price and Funding Cost Margins in Multinational Banking
in: Review of Finance, No. 5, 2016
In a proposed model of a multinational bank, interest margins determine local lending by foreign affiliates and the internal funding by parent banks. We exploit detailed parent-affiliate-level data of all German banks to empirically test our theoretical predictions in pre-crisis times. Local lending by affiliates depends negatively on price margins, the difference between lending and deposit rates in foreign markets. The effect of funding cost margins, the gap between local deposit rates faced by affiliates abroad and the funding costs of their parents, on internal capital market funding is positive but statistically weak. Interest margins are central to explain the interaction between internal capital markets and foreign affiliates lending.
Uncertainty, Bank Lending, and Bank-level Heterogeneity
in: IMF Economic Review, No. 4, 2015
We analyze how uncertainty affects bank lending. We measure uncertainty as the cross-sectional dispersion of shocks to bank-level variables. Comparing this measure of uncertainty in banking to more traditional measures of uncertainty, we find similar but no identical patterns. Higher uncertainty in banking has negative effects on bank lending. This effect is heterogeneous across banks: lending by banks that are better capitalized and have higher liquidity buffers tends to be affected less. Also, the degree of internationalization matters, as loan supply by banks in financially open countries is affected less by uncertainty. The impact of the ownership status of the individual bank is less important, in contrast.
Do We Want These Two to Tango? On Zombie Firms and Stressed Banks in Europe
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 13, 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.
Inside Asset Purchase Programs: The Effects of Unconventional Policy on Banking Competition
in: ECB Working Paper Series, No. 2017, 2017
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.
Uncertainty, Financial Crises, and Subjective Well-being
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 2, 2017
This paper focuses on the effect of uncertainty as reflected by financial market variables on subjective well-being. The analysis is based on Eurobarometer surveys, covering 20 countries over the period from 2000 to 2013. Individuals report lower levels of life satisfaction in times of higher uncertainty approximated by stock market volatility. This effect is heterogeneous across respondents: The probability of being unsatisfied is higher for respondents who are older, less educated, and live in one of the GIIPS countries of the euro area. Furthermore, higher uncertainty in combination with a financial crisis increases the probability of reporting low values of life satisfaction.
To Separate or not to Separate Investment from Commercial Banking? An Empirical Analysis of Attention Distortion under Multiple Tasks
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 2, 2016
In the wake of the 2008/2009 financial crisis, a number of policy reports (Vickers, Liikanen, Volcker) proposed to separate investment banking from commercial banking to increase financial stability. This paper empirically examines one theoretical justification for these proposals, namely attention distortion under multiple tasks as in Holmstrom and Milgrom (1991). Universal banks can be viewed as combining two different tasks (investment banking and commercial banking) in the same organization. We estimate pay-performance sensitivities for different segments within universal banks and for pure investment and commercial banks. We show that the pay-performance sensitivity is higher in investment banking than in commercial banking, no matter whether it is organized as part of a universal bank or in a separate institution. Next, the paper shows that relative pay-performance sensitivities of investment and commercial banking are negatively related to the quality of the loan portfolio in universal banks. Depending on the specification, we obtain a reduction in problem loans when investment banking is removed from commercial banks of up to 12 percent. We interpret the evidence to imply that the higher pay-performance sensitivity in investment banking directs the attention of managers away from commercial banking within universal banks, consistent with Holmstrom and Milgrom (1991). Separation of investment banking and commercial banking may indeed be associated with a reduction in risk in commercial banking.
Friend or Foe? Crowdfunding Versus Credit when Banks are Stressed
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 8, 2015
Does bank instability push borrowers to use crowdfunding as a source of external finance? We identify stressed banks and link them to a unique, manually constructed sample of 157 new ventures seeking equity crowdfunding. The sample comprises projects from all German equity crowdfunding platforms since 2011, which we compare with 200 ventures that do not use crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is significantly more likely for new ventures that interact with stressed banks. Innovative funding is thus particularly relevant when conventional financiers are facing crises. But crowdfunded ventures are generally also more opaque and risky than new ventures that do not use crowdfunding.