Financial Constraints of Private Firms and Bank Lending Behavior
Journal of Banking and Finance,
We investigate whether and how financial constraints of private firms depend on bank lending behavior. Bank lending behavior, especially its scale, scope and timing, is largely driven by bank business models which differ between privately owned and state-owned banks. Using a unique dataset on private small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) we find that an increase in relative borrowings from local state-owned banks significantly reduces firms’ financial constraints, while there is no such effect for privately owned banks. Improved credit availability and private information production are the main channels that explain our result. We also show that the lending behavior of local state-owned banks can be sustainable because it is less cyclical and neither leads to more risk taking nor underperformance.
Bank Bailouts and Moral Hazard: Evidence from Germany
Review of Financial Studies,
We use a structural econometric model to provide empirical evidence that safety nets in the banking industry lead to additional risk taking. To identify the moral hazard effect of bailout expectations on bank risk, we exploit the fact that regional political factors explain bank bailouts but not bank risk. The sample includes all observed capital preservation measures and distressed exits in the German banking industry during 1995–2006. A change of bailout expectations by two standard deviations increases the probability of official distress from 6.6% to 9.4%, which is economically significant.
Competition, Risk-shifting, and Public Bail-out Policies
Review of Financial Studies,
This article empirically investigates the competitive effects of government bail-out policies. We construct a measure of bail-out perceptions by using rating information. From there, we construct the market shares of insured competitor banks for any given bank, and analyze the impact of this variable on banks' risk-taking behavior, using a large sample of banks from OECD countries. Our results suggest that government guarantees strongly increase the risk-taking of competitor banks. In contrast, there is no evidence that public guarantees increase the protected banks' risk-taking, except for banks that have outright public ownership. These results have important implications for the effects of the recent wave of bank bail-outs on banks' risk-taking behavior.
Government Interventions in Banking Crises: Effects of Alternative Schemes on Bank Lending and Risk-taking
Scottish Journal of Political Economy,
We analyse the effects of policy measures to stop the fall in loan supply following a banking crisis. We apply a dynamic framework in which a debt overhang induces banks to curtail lending or to choose a fragile capital structure. Government assistance conditional on new banking activities, like on new lending or on debt and equity issues, allows banks to influence the scale of the assistance and to externalise risks, implying overinvestment or excessive risk taking or both. Assistance without reference to new activities, like granting lump sum transfers or establishing bad banks, does not generate adverse incentives but may have higher fiscal costs.
Do Weak Supervisory Systems Encourage Bank Risk-taking?
Journal of Financial Stability,
Weak bank supervision could give banks the ability to shift risk from themselves to supervisors. We use cross-border bank mergers as a natural experiment to test changes in risk and the impact of supervision. We examine cross-border bank mergers and find that the supervisory structures of the partners’ countries influence changes in post-merger total risk. An acquirer from a country with strong supervision lowers total risk after a cross-border merger. However, total risk increases when the target bank is located in a country with relatively strong supervision. This result is consistent with strong host regulators limiting the risky activities of their local banks. Foreign-owned competitors could then engage in the risky projects, especially if the foreign banks’ supervisors are not strong. An acquirer entering a country with strong supervision appears to shift risk back to its home country. The results suggest that bank supervisors can reduce total banking risk in their countries by being strong.
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.