IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Size, charter value and risk in banking: an international perspective

  • Gianni De Nicolo
Registered author(s):

    This paper documents the relationships between bank size and measures of charter value and insolvency risk in a sample of publicly traded banks in 21 industrialized countries for the 1988-1998 period. With the exception of small U.S. bank holding companies, charter values decrease in size and insolvency risk increases in size for most banks in the countries considered. Size-related diversification benefits and/or economies of scale in intermediation are either absent or, if they exist, are more than offset by banks' higher risk taking. Furthermore, banks operating in countries with more developed financial markets exhibit lower insolvency risk, and those operating in countries with either stricter regulation on banks' permissible activities or larger share of bank assets under state ownership exhibit higher insolvency risk. Overall, our evidence is at variance with some broad implications of modern financial intermediation theory, and suggests that absent future structural changes in banking markets of developed countries, bank consolidation is likely to result in an average increase in banks' insolvency risk.

    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: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 689.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:689
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20551
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    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. Rebecca Demsetz & Marc R. Saidenberg, 1999. "Looking beyond the CEO: executive compensation at banks," Staff Reports 68, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    2. Sleet, Christopher & Smith, Bruce D, 2000. "Deposit Insurance and Lender-of-Last-Resort Functions," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(3), pages 518-75, August.
    3. Joseph P. Hughes & William Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 1998. "The Dollars and Sense of Bank Consolidation," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 99-04, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    4. Mailath George J. & Mester Loretta J., 1994. "A Positive Analysis of Bank Closure," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 272-299, June.
    5. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-deSilanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2000. "Government Ownership of Banks," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1890, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    6. 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.
    7. Barth, James R. & Caprio, Gerard & Levine, Ross, 2000. "Banking systems around the globe : do regulation and ownership affect the performance and stability?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2325, The World Bank.
    8. Matutes, Carmen & Vives, Xavier, 2000. "Imperfect competition, risk taking, and regulation in banking," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-34, January.
    9. Marshall, David A. & Prescott, Edward Simpson, 2001. "Bank capital regulation with and without state-contingent penalties," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 139-184, June.
    10. Xavier Freixas & Jean-Charles Rochet, 1997. "Microeconomics of Banking," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061937, June.
    11. John H. Boyd & Chun Chang & Bruce D. Smith, 1998. "Deposit insurance: a reconsideration," Working Papers 593, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    12. Kareken, John H & Wallace, Neil, 1978. "Deposit Insurance and Bank Regulation: A Partial-Equilibrium Exposition," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 413-38, July.
    13. Rebecca Demsetz & Marc R. Saidenberg & Philip E. Strahan, 1996. "Banks with something to lose: the disciplinary role of franchise value," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Oct, pages 1-14.
    14. 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.
    15. Kevin C. Murdock & Thomas F. Hellmann & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2000. "Liberalization, Moral Hazard in Banking, and Prudential Regulation: Are Capital Requirements Enough?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 147-165, March.
    16. Rebecca Demsetz & Philip E. Strahan, 1995. "Historical patterns and recent changes in the relationship between bank holding company size and risk," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jul, pages 13-26.
    17. Boyd, John H. & Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 211-232, April.
    18. Philippe Aghion, Patrick Bolton & Steven Fries, 1999. "Optimal Design of Bank Bailouts: The Case of Transition Economies," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(1), pages 51-, March.
    19. Demsetz, Rebecca S & Strahan, Philip E, 1997. "Diversification, Size, and Risk at Bank Holding Companies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 300-313, August.
    20. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
    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:fip:fedgif:689. 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: (Kris Vajs)

    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.