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Comparing Centralized and Decentralized Banking: A Study of the Risk-Return Profiles of Banks

Author

Listed:
  • Holmberg, Ulf

    () (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

  • Sjögren, Tomas

    () (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

  • Hellström, Jörgen

    () (Department of Business Administration)

Abstract

This paper studies the risk-return profile of centralized and decentralized banks. We address the conditions that favor a particular lending regime while acknowledging the effects on lending and returns caused by the course of the business cycle. To analyze these issues, we develop a model which incorporates two stylized facts; (i) banks in which lending decisions are decentralized tend to have a lower cost associated with screening potential borrowers and (ii) decentralized decision-making may generate inefficient outcomes because of lack of coordination. Simulations are used to compare the two banking regimes. Among the results, it is found that asymmetric markets (in terms of the proportion of high ability entrepreneurs) tend to favor centralized banking while decentralized banks seem better at lending in the wake of an economic downturn (high probability of a recession). In addition, we find that even though a bank group where decisions are decentralized may end up with a portfolio of loans which is (relatively) poorly diversified between regions, the ability to effectively screen potential borrowers may nevertheless give a decentralized bank a lower overall risk in the lending portfolio than when decisions are centralized.

Suggested Citation

  • Holmberg, Ulf & Sjögren, Tomas & Hellström, Jörgen, 2012. "Comparing Centralized and Decentralized Banking: A Study of the Risk-Return Profiles of Banks," Umeå Economic Studies 838, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0838
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Canales, Rodrigo & Nanda, Ramana, 2012. "A darker side to decentralized banks: Market power and credit rationing in SME lending," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 353-366.
    2. Uchida, Hirofumi & Udell, Gregory F. & Watanabe, Wako, 2008. "Bank size and lending relationships in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 242-267, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Chauvet, Marcelle & Piger, Jeremy, 2008. "A Comparison of the Real-Time Performance of Business Cycle Dating Methods," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 42-49, January.
    5. Jose M. Liberti & Atif R. Mian, 2009. "Estimating the Effect of Hierarchies on Information Use," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(10), pages 4057-4090, October.
    6. Mark Carey, 1998. "Credit Risk in Private Debt Portfolios," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1363-1387, August.
    7. Boot, Arnoud W. A., 2000. "Relationship Banking: What Do We Know?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 7-25, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    lending; screening; business cycle; portfolio diversification; risk; organization; simulations;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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