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Foreign banks, corporate strategy and financial stability: lessons from the river plate

  • Michael Brei

    (EconomiX - CNRS - UP10 - Université Paris 10, Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense)

  • Carlos Winograd

    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, Université d'Evry-Val d'Essonne, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC))

This paper analyzes the risk taking of branches and subsidiaries of international bank holding institutions from the perspective of host country regulators in two Latin American financial systems: Argentina and Uruguay. Using both theory and empirics, we analyze differences in the risk attitudes of these institutions in the run up to the major financial crises of 2001-02. The empirical part of this paper is based on a rich bank-level dataset on corporate structures, balance sheets, and ownership of banks. We find that foreign banks branches have taken on fewer risks than subsidiaries and relate this to differences in the legal responsibility of parent banks. This research not only shows original results concerning banks corporate strategies in the face of country risk, but also contributes to the debate on appropriate banking regulation.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00703738.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00703738
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  1. Charles W. Calomiris & Andrew Powell, 2000. "Can Emerging Market Bank Regulators Establish Credible Discipline? The Case of Argentina, 1992-1999," NBER Working Papers 7715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Hamid Mehran & Anjan Thakor, 2009. "Bank capital and value in the cross section," Staff Reports 390, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  5. Willem H. Buiter, 2008. "Central banks and financial crises," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24438, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Adolfo Barajas & Emiliano Basco & V Hugo Juan-Ram�n & Carlos Quarracino, 2007. "Banks During the Argentine Crisis: Were They All Hurt Equally? Did They All Behave Equally?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(4), pages 621-662, November.
  7. Allen, Franklin, 1990. "The market for information and the origin of financial intermediation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-30, March.
  8. Boot, Arnoud W. A. & Schmeits, Anjolein, 2000. "Market Discipline and Incentive Problems in Conglomerate Firms with Applications to Banking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 240-273, July.
  9. Calem, Paul & Rob, Rafael, 1999. "The Impact of Capital-Based Regulation on Bank Risk-Taking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 317-352, October.
  10. Cerutti, Eugenio & Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2007. "How banks go abroad: Branches or subsidiaries?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1669-1692, June.
  11. 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.
  12. Yener Altunbas & Leonardo Gambacorta & David Marques-Ibanez, 2010. "Does monetary policy affect bank risk-taking?," BIS Working Papers 298, Bank for International Settlements.
  13. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  14. Benjamin M. Tabak & Dimas M. Fazio & Daniel O. Cajueiro, 2010. "The Effects of Loan Portfolio Concentration on Brazilian Banks' Return and Risk," Working Papers Series 215, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  15. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Marquez, Robert, 2006. "Competition among regulators and credit market integration," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 401-430, February.
  16. Vicente Salas & Jesús Saurina, 2002. "Credit Risk in Two Institutional Regimes: Spanish Commercial and Savings Banks," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 203-224, December.
  17. Gyongyi Loranth & Alan Morrison, 2003. "Multinational Bank Capital Regulation with Deposit Insurance and Diversification Effects," OFRC Working Papers Series 2003fe11, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
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