Information or Regulation: What Is Driving the International Activities of Commercial Banks?
Information costs and regulatory barriers are the main distinguishing features of international financial markets as compared to national financial markets. This paper presents a simple model of the impact of these factors on banksÂ’ cross-border activities and provides empirical evidence. Our dataset allows us to capture both the times-series and the cross-section dimension of information costs and changes in regulations, in particular, for intra-EU asset holdings. While EU membership per se seems to have had a negative impact on cross-border banking activities, the adoption of the Single Market clearly had a positive impact. While regulations and information costs are important for all reporting countries, their relative importance differs between countries.
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