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Changes in Germany's Bank-Based Financial System: implications for corporate governance


  • Sigurt Vitols


Throughout the 20th century, banks have dominated Germany's financial system and also played a key role in corporate governance. Recently, however, a number of efforts have been made to increase the role of markets within this bank-based financial system, including regulatory innovations and a reform of the pension system. This article finds that, despite these changes, there are a surprising number of continuities in the structure of the financial system. The German financial system can therefore still be characterised as bank-based. Furthermore, banks have only partially withdrawn from the stakeholder system of corporate governance, and to some extent been replaced by insurance companies. An explanation for these continuities is advanced which emphasises stability in household investment behaviour and in patterns of company sector demand for finance. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Sigurt Vitols, 2005. "Changes in Germany's Bank-Based Financial System: implications for corporate governance," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 386-396, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:corgov:v:13:y:2005:i:3:p:386-396

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Casper, Steven, 1999. "National institutional frameworks and high-technology innovation in Germany: the case of biotechnology," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment FS I 99-306, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    2. Deeg, Richard, 2001. "Institutional change and the uses and limits of path dependency: The case of German finance," MPIfG Discussion Paper 01/6, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Goergen, Marc & Manjon, Miguel C. & Renneboog, Luc, 2008. "Recent developments in German corporate governance," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 175-193, September.
    2. Vithessonthi, Chaiporn & Schwaninger, Markus & Müller, Matthias O., 2017. "Monetary policy, bank lending and corporate investment," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 129-142.
    3. Ernstberger, Jürgen & Vogler, Oliver, 2008. "Analyzing the German accounting triad -- "Accounting Premium" for IAS/IFRS and U.S. GAAP vis-à-vis German GAAP?," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 339-386, December.
    4. Gregory JACKSON & MIYAJIMA Hideaki, 2007. "Varieties of Capitalism, Varieties of Markets: Mergers and Acquisitions in Japan, Germany, France, the UK and USA," Discussion papers 07054, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    5. Carney, Richard, 2007. "Deducing Varieties of Capitalism," MPRA Paper 5145, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Butzbach Olivier & von Mettenheim Kurt E., 2015. "Alternative Banking and Theory," Accounting, Economics, and Law: A Convivium, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 105-171, July.
    7. Jean-Paul POLLIN, 2010. "l eurosystème et l'intégration financière européenne," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 832, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
    8. Predrag Ćetković & Engelbert Stockhammer, 2010. "Finanzialisierung und Investitionsverhalten von Industrie-Aktiengesellschaften in Österreich," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 36(4), pages 453-479.
    9. Uwe Jirjahn, 2010. "Nonunion Worker Representation and the Closure of Establishments: German Evidence on the Role of Moderating Factors," Research Papers in Economics 2010-01, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    10. James, Barclay E. & McGuire, Jean B., 2016. "Transactional-institutional fit: Corporate governance of R&D investment in different institutional contexts," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 3478-3486.
    11. Ferber, Tim, 2016. "European banking regulation after the financial crisis: Franco-German conflict of interest during the negotiations on a single resolution fund," PIPE - Papers on International Political Economy 27/2016, Free University Berlin, Center for International Political Economy.
    12. Uwe Jirjahn, 2016. "Works Councils and Employer Attitudes toward the Incentive Effects of HRM Practices," Research Papers in Economics 2016-07, University of Trier, Department of Economics.

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