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Could Regional and Cantonal Banks Reduce Credit Risk through National Diversification?

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  • Bertrand Rime

Abstract

This paper evaluates the reduction of credit risk that can be achieved in Switzerland by a national diversification of bank lending. Using a credit risk model based on corporate default rates, I find that the risk of a nationally diversified loan portfolio is up to 20% smaller than the sum of the risks of regional portfolios. From a financial stability perspective, this substantial risk diversification potential should motivate particular scrutiny on the more than hundred Swiss banks staying on the regional business model.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertrand Rime, 2007. "Could Regional and Cantonal Banks Reduce Credit Risk through National Diversification?," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 143(I), pages 49-65, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2007-i-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Schuermann, Til & Treutler, Bjorn-Jakob & Weiner, Scott M., 2006. "Macroeconomic Dynamics and Credit Risk: A Global Perspective," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1211-1261, August.
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    3. Linda Allen & Anthony Saunders, 2004. "Incorporating Systemic Influences Into Risk Measurements: A Survey of the Literature," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 26(2), pages 161-191, October.
    4. Viral V. Acharya & Iftekhar Hasan & Anthony Saunders, 2006. "Should Banks Be Diversified? Evidence from Individual Bank Loan Portfolios," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1355-1412, May.
    5. Bangia, Anil & Diebold, Francis X. & Kronimus, Andre & Schagen, Christian & Schuermann, Til, 2002. "Ratings migration and the business cycle, with application to credit portfolio stress testing," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 445-474, March.
    6. Carey, Mark, 2002. "A guide to choosing absolute bank capital requirements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 929-951, May.
    7. Acerbi, Carlo & Tasche, Dirk, 2002. "On the coherence of expected shortfall," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(7), pages 1487-1503, July.
    8. Viral V. Acharya & Iftekhar Hasan & Anthony Saunders, 2002. "Should banks be diversified? evidence from individual bank portfolios," Proceedings 836, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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    11. Mark S. Carey, 2002. "A guide to choosing absolute bank capital requirements," International Finance Discussion Papers 726, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    diversification; economic capital; consolidation;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies

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