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

  • Michael Brei

    (EconomiX - UPOND - Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Carlos Winograd

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, UEVE - Université d'Évry-Val-d'Essonne, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

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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  13. 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.
  14. V. Cerasi & S. Daltung, 1995. "The Optimal Size of a Bank: Costs and Benefits of Diversification," Departmental Working Papers 1995-05, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
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