IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Bank resilience to systemic shocks and the stability of banking systems: Small is beautiful

  • Vallascas, Francesco
  • Keasey, Kevin
Registered author(s):

    Utilising a novel empirical approach and an extensive sample of listed European banks, we identify which bank characteristics offer a shelter from systemic shocks and compare the relative effects of several hypothetical prudential rules on a bank’s risk exposure. While the results show that restrictions on a bank’s leverage ratio and the imposition of liquidity requirements, as in the Basel III Accord, may improve the resilience of a bank to systemic events, they also demonstrate that bank size, the share of non-interest income and asset growth (none of which are at the centre of the new regulatory landscape) are key determinants of a bank’s risk exposure. In particular, the introduction of a cap on bank absolute size appears the most effective tool, ceteris paribus, to reduce the default risk of a bank given systemic events. Furthermore, in spite of the integration process of the financial industry in Europe, the analysis presented here shows that such a cap should be country-specific with smaller economies requiring smaller banks. Finally, we show that the strengthening of individual bank stability obtained via size restrictions is accompanied by a reduction of the contribution to systemic risk for banks which are relatively large compared to the domestic economy.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Money and Finance.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 1745-1776

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:1745-1776
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. R Blundell & Steven Bond, . "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    2. Mercieca, Steve & Schaeck, Klaus & Wolfe, Simon, 2007. "Small European banks: Benefits from diversification?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1975-1998, July.
    3. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-70, May.
    4. Gropp, Reint & Moerman, Gerard, 2004. "Measurement of contagion in banks' equity prices," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 405-459, April.
    5. Berger, Allen N. & Bouwman, Christa H.S., 2013. "How does capital affect bank performance during financial crises?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 146-176.
    6. Viral V. Acharya & S. Viswanathan, 2011. "Leverage, Moral Hazard, and Liquidity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(1), pages 99-138, 02.
    7. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521608275, October.
    8. Bartram, Söhnke M. & Brown, Gregory W. & Hund, John E., 2005. "Estimating Systemic Risk in the International Financial System," MPRA Paper 6658, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Carlson Mark A & King Thomas & Lewis Kurt, 2011. "Distress in the Financial Sector and Economic Activity," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-31, June.
    10. Allen N. Berger & Christa H. S. Bouwman, 2009. "Bank Liquidity Creation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(9), pages 3779-3837, September.
    11. Wagner, Wolf, 2010. "Diversification at financial institutions and systemic crises," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 373-386, July.
    12. Huang, Xin & Zhou, Hao & Zhu, Haibin, 2012. "Assessing the systemic risk of a heterogeneous portfolio of banks during the recent financial crisis," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 193-205.
    13. Martin Hellwig, 2010. "Capital Regulation after the Crisis: Business as Usual?," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_31, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    14. Maria Vassalou & Yuhang Xing, 2004. "Default Risk in Equity Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 831-868, 04.
    15. O. De Jonghe, 2009. "Back to the Basics in Banking? A Micro-Analysis of Banking System Stability," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 09/579, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    16. Rocco Huang & Lev Ratnovski, 2009. "The dark side of bank wholesale funding," Working Papers 09-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    17. Kee-Hong Bae & G. Andrew Karolyi & Rene M. Stulz, 2001. "A new approach to measuring financial contagion," Proceedings 743, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    18. Veronesi, Pietro & Zingales, Luigi, 2009. "Paulson's Gift," CEPR Discussion Papers 7528, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Reint Gropp & Anil K Kashyap, 2010. "A New Metric for Banking Integration in Europe," NBER Chapters, in: Europe and the Euro, pages 219-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Boyd, John H. & Runkle, David E., 1993. "Size and performance of banking firms : Testing the predictions of theory," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 47-67, February.
    21. Krasa, Stefan & Villamil, Anne P, 1992. "A Theory of Optimal Bank Size," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(4), pages 725-49, October.
    22. DeYoung, Robert & Roland, Karin P., 2001. "Product Mix and Earnings Volatility at Commercial Banks: Evidence from a Degree of Total Leverage Model," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 54-84, January.
    23. Aigbe Akhigbe & Jeff Madura & Anna D. Martin, 2007. "Effect Of Fed Policy Actions On The Default Likelihood Of Commercial Banks," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 30(1), pages 147-162.
    24. Acharya, Viral V. & Yorulmazer, Tanju, 2007. "Too many to fail--An analysis of time-inconsistency in bank closure policies," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-31, January.
    25. Acharya, Viral V, 2009. "A Theory of Systemic Risk and Design of Prudential Bank Regulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7164, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    26. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2008. "Financial Regulation in a System Context," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 229-274.
    27. Goddard, John & Molyneux, Philip & Wilson, John O.S. & Tavakoli, Manouche, 2007. "European banking: An overview," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1911-1935, July.
    28. Gropp, Reint & Heider, Florian, 2009. "The determinants of bank capital structure," Working Paper Series 1096, European Central Bank.
    29. Bernoth, Kerstin & Pick, Andreas, 2011. "Forecasting the fragility of the banking and insurance sectors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 807-818, April.
    30. Ibragimov, Rustam & Jaffee, Dwight & Walden, Johan, 2011. "Diversification disasters," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 333-348, February.
    31. Gropp, Reint & Vesala, Jukka & Vulpes, Giuseppe, 2002. "Equity and bond market signals as leading indicators of bank fragility," Working Paper Series 0150, European Central Bank.
    32. Moshirian, Fariborz & Wu, Qiongbing, 2009. "Banking industry volatility and banking crises," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 351-370, April.
    33. Viral V. Acharya & Tanju Yorulmazer, 2008. "Information Contagion and Bank Herding," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(1), pages 215-231, 02.
    34. Anil K. Kashyap & Raghuram G. Rajan & Jeremy C. Stein, 1998. "Banks as liquidity providers: an explanation for the co-existence of lending and deposit-taking," Proceedings 582, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    35. Lepetit, Laetitia & Nys, Emmanuelle & Rous, Philippe & Tarazi, Amine, 2008. "Bank income structure and risk: An empirical analysis of European banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1452-1467, August.
    36. Cerasi, Vittoria & Daltung, Sonja, 2000. "The optimal size of a bank: Costs and benefits of diversification," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1701-1726, October.
    37. Stiroh, Kevin J., 2006. "A Portfolio View of Banking with Interest and Noninterest Activities," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1351-1361, August.
    38. Foos, Daniel & Norden, Lars & Weber, Martin, 2010. "Loan growth and riskiness of banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2929-2940, December.
    39. Baele, Lieven & De Jonghe, Olivier & Vander Vennet, Rudi, 2007. "Does the stock market value bank diversification?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1999-2023, July.
    40. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil K, 2010. "Will the U.S. bank recapitalization succeed? Eight lessons from Japan," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 398-417, September.
    41. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1997. "Inside the black box: what explains differences in the efficiencies of financial institutions?," Working Papers 97-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    42. Evan Gatev & Til Schuermann & Philip E. Strahan, 2006. "Managing Bank Liquidity Risk: How Deposit-Loan Synergies Vary with Market Conditions," NBER Working Papers 12234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    43. Victoria Geyfman & Timothy J. Yeager, 2009. "On the Riskiness of Universal Banking: Evidence from Banks in the Investment Banking Business Pre- and Post-GLBA," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(8), pages 1649-1669, December.
    44. David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2012. "Do Large Banks Have Lower Costs? New Estimates of Returns to Scale for U.S. Banks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(1), pages 171-199, 02.
    45. Keeley, Michael C, 1990. "Deposit Insurance, Risk, and Market Power in Banking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1183-1200, December.
    46. Stiroh, Kevin J. & Rumble, Adrienne, 2006. "The dark side of diversification: The case of US financial holding companies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 2131-2161, August.
    47. Martín Saldías, 2012. "Systemic Risk Analysis using Forward-Looking Distance-to-Default Series," Working Papers w201216, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    48. Kevin Stiroh, 2004. "Do Community Banks Benefit from Diversification?," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 135-160, April.
    49. Bhattacharya Sudipto & Thakor Anjan V., 1993. "Contemporary Banking Theory," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 2-50, October.
    50. Keys, Benjamin J. & Mukherjee, Tanmoy & Seru, Amit & Vig, Vikrant, 2009. "Financial regulation and securitization: Evidence from subprime loans," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 700-720, July.
    51. De Bandt, Olivier & Hartmann, Philipp, 2000. "Systemic risk: A survey," Working Paper Series 0035, European Central Bank.
    52. Curry, Timothy J. & Fissel, Gary S. & Hanweck, Gerald A., 2008. "Is there cyclical bias in bank holding company risk ratings?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1297-1309, July.
    53. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 2009. "Unstable Banking," NBER Working Papers 14943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    54. Anthony Saunders & Berry Wilson, 2001. "An Analysis of Bank Charter Value and Its Risk-Constraining Incentives," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 185-195, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:1745-1776. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.