Deposit Insurance, Moral Hazard and Market Monitoring
Review of Finance,
The paper analyses the relationship between deposit insurance, debt-holder monitoring, and risk taking. In a stylised banking model we show that deposit insurance may reduce moral hazard, if deposit insurance credibly leaves out non-deposit creditors. Testing the model using EU bank level data yields evidence consistent with the model, suggesting that explicit deposit insurance may serve as a commitment device to limit the safety net and permit monitoring by uninsured subordinated debt holders. We further find that credible limits to the safety net reduce risk taking of smaller banks with low charter values and sizeable subordinated debt shares only. However, we also find that the introduction of explicit deposit insurance tends to increase the share of insured deposits in banks' liabilities.
Bank-Firm Relationships and International Banking Markets
International Journal of the Economics of Business,
This paper reviews how long-term relationships between firms and banks shape the structure and integration of banking markets worldwide. Bank relationships arise to span informational asymmetries that are endemic in financial markets. Firm-bank relationships not only entail specific benefits and costs for both the engaged firms and banks, but also directly affect the structure of banking markets. In particular, the sunk cost of screening and monitoring activities and the 'informational capital' collected by the incumbent banks may act as a barrier to entry. The intensity of the existing firm-bank relationships will determine the height of this barrier and shape the structure of international banking markets. For example, in Scandinavia where firms maintain few and strong relationships, foreign banks may only be able to enter successfully through mergers and acquisitions. On the other hand, Southern European firms maintain many bank relationships. Therefore, banks may consider entering Southern European banking markets through direct investment.
Rating Agency Actions and the Pricing of Debt and Equity of European Banks: What Can we Infer About Private Sector Monitoring of Bank Soundness?
The recent consultative papers by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has raised the possibility of an explicit role for external rating agencies in the assessment of the credit risk of banks’ assets, including interbank claims. Any judgement on the merits of this proposal calls for an assessment of the information contained in credit ratings and its relationship to other publicly available information on the financial health of banks and borrowers. We assess this issue via an event study of rating change announcements by leading international rating agencies, focusing on rating changes for European banks for which data on bond and equity prices are available. We find little evidence of announcement effects on bond prices, which may reflect the lack of liquidity in bond markets in Europe during much of our sample period. For equity prices, we find strong effects of ratings changes, although some of our results may suffer from contamination by contemporaneous news events. We also test for pre-announcement and post-announcement effects, but find little evidence of either. Overall, our results suggest that ratings agencies may perform a useful role in summarizing and obtaining non-public information on banks and that monitoring of banks’ risk through bond holders appears to be relatively limited in Europe. The relatively weak monitoring by bondholders casts some doubt on the effectiveness of a subordinated debt requirement as a supervisory tool in the European context, at least until bond markets are more developed.
Bank Relationships and Firm Profitability
This paper examines how bank relationships affect firm performance. An empirical implication of recent theoretical models is that firms maintaining multiple bank relationships are less profitable than their single-bank peers. We investigate this empirical implication using a data set containing virtually all Norwegian publicly listed firms for the period 1979-1995. We find that profitability is substantially higher if firms maintain only a single bank relationship. We also find that firms replacing a single bank relationship are on average smaller and younger than firms not replacing a single bank relationship.
Relationship Lending within a Bank-Based System: Evidence from European Small Business Data
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
We investigate relationship lending using detailed contract information from nearly 18,000 bank loans to small Belgian firms operating within the continental European bank-based system. Specifically, we investigate the impact of different measures of relationship strength on price and nonprice terms of the loan contract. We test for the possibility of rent shifting by banks. The evidence shows two opposing effects. On the one hand, the loan rate increases with the duration of a bank–firm relationship. On the other hand, the scope of a relationship, defined as the purchase of other information-sensitive products from a bank, decreases the loan's interest rate substantially. Relationship duration and scope thus have opposite effects on loan rates, with the latter being more important. We also find that the collateral requirement is decreasing in the duration of the relationship and increasing in its scope.
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