Banking Passivity and Regulatory Failure in Emerging Markets: Theory and Evidence from the Czech Republic
We present a model of bank passivity and regulatory failure. Banks with low equity positions have more incentives to be passive in liquidating bad loans. We show that they tend to hide distress from regulatory authorities and are ready to offer a higher rate of interest in order to attract deposits compared to banks that are not in distress. Therefore, higher deposit rates may act as an early warning signal of bank failure. We provide empirical evidence that the balance sheet information collected by the Czech National Bank is not a better predictor of bank failure than higher deposit rates. This confirms the importance of asymmetric information between banks and the regulator and suggests the usefulness of looking at deposit rate differentials as early signals of distress in emerging market economies where banks’ equity positions are often low.
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