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Banking systems around the globe : do regulation and ownership affect the performance and stability?

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  • Barth, James R.
  • Caprio, Gerard
  • Levine, Ross

Abstract

The authors report cross-country data on commercial bank regulation and ownership in more than 60 countries. They evaluate the links between different regulatory/ownership practices in those countries and both financial sector performance and banking system stability. They document substantial variation in response to these questions: Should it be public policy to limit the powers of commercial banks to engage in securities, insurance, and real estate activities? Should the mixing of banking and commerce be restricted by regulating commercial bank's ownership of non-financial firms and non-financial firms'ownership of commercial banks? Should states own commercial banks, or should those banks be privatized? They find: 1) There is no reliable statistical relationship between restrictions on commercial banks'ability to engage in securities, insurance, and real estate transactions and how well-developed the banking sector, how well-developed securities markets and non-bank financial intermediaries are, or the degree of industrial competition. Based on the evidence, it is difficult to argue confidently that restricting commercial banking activities benefits-or harms-the development of financial and securities markets or industrial competition. 2) There are no positive effects from mixing banking and commerce. 3) Countries that more tightly restrict and regulate the securities activities of commercial banks are substantially more likely to suffer a major banking crisis. Countries whose national regulations inhibit banks'ability to engage in securities underwriting, brokering, and dealing--and all aspects of the mutual fund business--tend to have more fragile financial systems. 4) The mixing of banking and commerce is associated with less financial stability. The evidence does not support admonitions to restrict the mixing of banking and commerce because mixing them will increase financial fragility. 5) On average, greater state ownership of banks tends to be associated with more poorly developed banks, nonbanks, and stock markets and more poorly functioning financial systems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2325.

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Date of creation: 30 Apr 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2325

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Related research

Keywords: Banks&Banking Reform; Payment Systems&Infrastructure; Financial Intermediation; Financial Crisis Management&Restructuring; Decentralization; Banks&Banking Reform; Financial Intermediation; Financial Crisis Management&Restructuring; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research;

References

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  1. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman, 2000. "Finance and the sources of growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 261-300.
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  9. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, . "Financial Dependence and Growth," CRSP working papers 344, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  10. Dutz, Mark A. & Hayri, Aydin, 2000. "Does more intense competition lead to higher growth?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2320, The World Bank.
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  12. João Cabral dos Santos, 1996. "Commercial banks in the securities business: a review," Working Paper 9610, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
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  14. Ross Levine & Sara Zervos, . "Stock markets, banks and economic growth ," CERF Discussion Paper Series 95-11, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
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  22. repec:fth:wobaco:1083 is not listed on IDEAS
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