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Do weak supervisory systems encourage bank risk-taking?

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  • Buch, Claudia M.
  • DeLong, Gayle

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Buch, Claudia M. & DeLong, Gayle, 2008. "Do weak supervisory systems encourage bank risk-taking?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 23-39, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finsta:v:4:y:2008:i:1:p:23-39
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Amihud, Yakov & DeLong, Gayle L. & Saunders, Anthony, 2002. "The effects of cross-border bank mergers on bank risk and value," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 857-877, November.
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    7. Armen Hovakimian & Edward Kane & Luc Laeven, 2003. "How Country and Safety-Net Characteristics Affect Bank Risk-Shifting," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 23(3), pages 177-204, June.
    8. Rafael Repullo, 2001. "A model of takeovers of foreign banks," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21.
    9. Esty, Benjamin C. & Megginson, William L., 2003. "Creditor Rights, Enforcement, and Debt Ownership Structure: Evidence from the Global Syndicated Loan Market," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(01), pages 37-60, March.
    10. Buch, Claudia M. & DeLong, Gayle, 2004. "Cross-border bank mergers: What lures the rare animal?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 2077-2102, September.
    11. Gianni De Nicolo, 2000. "Size, charter value and risk in banking: an international perspective," International Finance Discussion Papers 689, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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