IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/imf/imfwpa/15-249.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Bank Profitability and Risk-Taking

Author

Listed:
  • Natalya Martynova
  • Lev Ratnovski
  • Razvan Vlahu

Abstract

Traditional theory suggests that more profitable banks should have lower risk-taking incentives. Then why did many profitable banks choose to invest in untested financial instruments before the crisis, realizing significant losses? We attempt to reconcile theory and evidence. In our setup, banks are endowed with a fixed core business. They take risk by levering up to engage in risky ‘side activities’(such as market-based investments) alongside the core business. A more profitable core business allows a bank to borrow more and take side risks on a larger scale, offsetting lower incentives to take risk of given size. Consequently, more profitable banks may have higher risk-taking incentives. The framework is consistent with cross-sectional patterns of bank risk-taking in the run up to the recent financial crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Natalya Martynova & Lev Ratnovski & Razvan Vlahu, 2015. "Bank Profitability and Risk-Taking," IMF Working Papers 15/249, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:15/249
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=43421
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Freixas, Xavier & Loranth, Gyongyi & Morrison, Alan D., 2007. "Regulating financial conglomerates," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 479-514, October.
    2. Berger, Allen N. & Bouwman, Christa H.S., 2013. "How does capital affect bank performance during financial crises?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 146-176.
    3. Domenico Giannone & Michele Lenza & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2011. "Market Freedom and the Global Recession," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 59(1), pages 111-135, April.
    4. Repullo, Rafael, 2004. "Capital requirements, market power, and risk-taking in banking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 156-182, April.
    5. George A. Akerlof & Paul M. Romer, 1993. "Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 1-74.
    6. Carlson, Mark & Mitchener, Kris James, 2006. "Branch Banking, Bank Competition, and Financial Stability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1293-1328, August.
    7. Nicola Gennaioli & Alberto Martin & Stefano Rossi, 2014. "Sovereign Default, Domestic Banks, and Financial Institutions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(2), pages 819-866, April.
    8. Stewart C. Myers & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1998. "The Paradox of Liquidity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 733-771.
    9. Borio, Claudio & Zhu, Haibin, 2012. "Capital regulation, risk-taking and monetary policy: A missing link in the transmission mechanism?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 236-251.
    10. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1997. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds, and The Real Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 663-691.
    11. Boubacar Camara & Laetitia Lepetit & Amine Tarazi, 2013. "Ex ante capital position, changes in the different components of regulatory capital and bank risk," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(34), pages 4831-4856, December.
    12. Mike Burkart & Tore Ellingsen, 2004. "In-Kind Finance: A Theory of Trade Credit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 569-590, June.
    13. John H. Boyd & Chun Chang & Bruce D. Smith, 1998. "Moral hazard under commercial and universal banking," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Aug, pages 426-471.
    14. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène & Truempler, Kai, 2012. "The financial crisis and the geography of wealth transfers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 266-283.
    15. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817.
    16. Matutes, Carmen & Vives, Xavier, 2000. "Imperfect competition, risk taking, and regulation in banking," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-34, January.
    17. Blum, Jurg, 1999. "Do capital adequacy requirements reduce risks in banking?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 755-771, May.
    18. Jokipii, Terhi & Milne, Alistair, 2008. "The cyclical behaviour of European bank capital buffers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1440-1451, August.
    19. DellʼAriccia, Giovanni & Laeven, Luc & Marquez, Robert, 2014. "Real interest rates, leverage, and bank risk-taking," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 65-99.
    20. Gorton, Gary & Metrick, Andrew, 2012. "Securitized banking and the run on repo," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 425-451.
    21. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Robert Marquez, 2006. "Lending Booms and Lending Standards," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(5), pages 2511-2546, October.
    22. Alan D. Morrison & William J. Wilhelm, 2007. "Investment of Banking: Past, Present, and Future," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 19(1), pages 42-54, January.
    23. Boyd, John H. & Hakenes, Hendrik, 2014. "Looting and risk shifting in banking crises," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 43-64.
    24. Enrico Perotti & Lev Ratnovski & Razvan Vlahu, 2011. "Capital Regulation and Tail Risk," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(4), pages 123-163, December.
    25. John H. Boyd & Gianni De Nicoló, 2005. "The Theory of Bank Risk Taking and Competition Revisited," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1329-1343, June.
    26. Gabriel Jiménez & Steven Ongena & José‐Luis Peydró & Jesús Saurina, 2014. "Hazardous Times for Monetary Policy: What Do Twenty‐Three Million Bank Loans Say About the Effects of Monetary Policy on Credit Risk‐Taking?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(2), pages 463-505, March.
    27. Hyun Song Shin, 2009. "Reflections on Northern Rock: The Bank Run That Heralded the Global Financial Crisis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 101-119, Winter.
    28. Beltratti, Andrea & Stulz, René M., 2012. "The credit crisis around the globe: Why did some banks perform better?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 1-17.
    29. Froot, Kenneth A. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1998. "Risk management, capital budgeting, and capital structure policy for financial institutions: an integrated approach," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 55-82, January.
    30. Arnoud W.A. Boot, 2014. "Financial Sector in Flux," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(s1), pages 129-135, February.
    31. 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.
    32. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Martin Oehmke, 2013. "The Maturity Rat Race," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(2), pages 483-521, April.
    33. Lindquist, Kjersti-Gro, 2004. "Banks' buffer capital: how important is risk," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 493-513, April.
    34. Laeven, Luc, 2001. "Insider Lending and Bank Ownership: The Case of Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 207-229, June.
    35. Jeremy C. Stein, 2002. "Information Production and Capital Allocation: Decentralized versus Hierarchical Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 1891-1921, October.
    36. Viral V. Acharya & T. Sabri Öncü, 2013. "A Proposal for the Resolution of Systemically Important Assets and Liabilities: The Case of the Repo Market," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(1), pages 291-351, January.
    37. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
    38. Viral V. Acharya & T. Sabri Öncü, 2013. "A Proposal for the Resolution of Systemically Important Assets and Liabilities: The Case of the Repo Market," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Social Value of the Financial Sector Too Big to Fail or Just Too Big?, chapter 10, pages 159-214 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    39. Stijn Claessens & Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Deniz Igan & Luc Laeven, 2010. "Cross-country experiences and policy implications from the global financial crisis," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 267-293, April.
    40. 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.
    41. Robert Bichsel & Jurg Blum, 2004. "The relationship between risk and capital in Swiss commercial banks: a panel study," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(8), pages 591-597.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jijfss:v:5:y:2017:i:4:p:31-:d:121071 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:pal:jbkreg:v:20:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1057_s41261-018-0066-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:arp:ijefrr:2018:p:99-106 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank capital; Profit margins; Profits; Financial risk; Debt; Banks; Risk-Taking; Repo Markets; Crises; bank; risk; bank risk; capital; Government Policy and Regulation; Crises.;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:15/249. 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: (Jim Beardow) or (Hassan Zaidi) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Hassan Zaidi to update the entry or send us the correct email address. General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/imfffus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.