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

  • Bertrand Rime
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    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.

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    Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

    Volume (Year): 143 (2007)
    Issue (Month): I (March)
    Pages: 49-65

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    Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2007-i-3
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    1. Pamela Nickell & William Perraudin & Simone Varotto, 2001. "Stability of ratings transitions," Bank of England working papers 133, Bank of England.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Hellwig, Martin, 1998. "Allowing for Risk Choices in Diamond's "Financial Intermediation as Delegated Monitoring"," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-04, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    5. Viral V. Acharya & Iftekhar Hasan & Anthony Saunders, 2002. "Should banks be diversified? evidence from individual bank portfolios," Proceedings 836, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    6. Crouhy, Michel & Galai, Dan & Mark, Robert, 2000. "A comparative analysis of current credit risk models," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 59-117, January.
    7. Carey, Mark, 2002. "A guide to choosing absolute bank capital requirements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 929-951, May.
    8. Carlo Acerbi & Dirk Tasche, 2001. "On the coherence of Expected Shortfall," Papers cond-mat/0104295, arXiv.org, revised May 2002.
    9. Linda Allen & Anthony Saunders, 2004. "Incorporating Systemic Influences Into Risk Measurements: A Survey of the Literature," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 161-191, October.
    10. Anil Bangia & Francis X. Diebold & Til Schuermann, 2000. "Ratings Migration and the Business Cycle, With Application to Credit Portfolio Stress Testing," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 00-26, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    11. Mark 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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