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Some Economics of Banking Reform

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  • John Vickers

Abstract

Where do we stand, five years on from the start of the crisis, on progress towards banking reform? Major advances have been made, but a lot of unfinished business remains, notably on structural reform of banks. Following a stock-take of current reform initiatives, the paper reviews some economics of public policy towards banks, starting with the rationale for deposit guarantees and lender-of-last-resort support but concentrating on why governments feel compelled to provide solvency support in crisis. It then covers the economics of capital requirements – and loss-absorbency more generally – and examines why such regulation is a better approach than taxation to address systemic risk externalities, and why the public interest requires much more capital than banks would choose. The role of structural regulation in making banking systems safer is then analysed, in particular forms of separation between retail and investment banking such as ring-fencing (as in current UK reforms) and complete separation (as in the US before the repeal of Glass-Steagall). The paper concludes with some reflections on the wider European policy debate in the light of the Liikanen Report on structural reform. A central theme of the analysis is that banking reform needs a well-designed combination of policies towards loss-absorbency and structural reform.

Suggested Citation

  • John Vickers, 2012. "Some Economics of Banking Reform," Economics Series Working Papers 632, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:632
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Miles & Jing Yang & Gilberto Marcheggiano, 2013. "Optimal Bank Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(567), pages 1-37, March.
    2. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leonardo Gambacorta & Adrian van Rixtel, 2013. "Structural bank regulation initiatives: approaches and implications," BANCARIA, Bancaria Editrice, vol. 6, pages 14-27, June.
    2. Tatiana Gaelle Yongoua Tchikanda, 2017. "Systemic risk and individual risk: A trade-off?," EconomiX Working Papers 2017-16, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    3. Musgrave, Ralph S., 2014. "Sir John Vickers backs maturity transformation and opposes full reserve banking," MPRA Paper 59600, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Malgorzata Pawlowska, 2015. "Changes in the size and structure of the European Union banking sector-the role of competition between banks," NBP Working Papers 205, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.
    5. Giuseppe Mastromatteo & Giuseppe Mastromatteo, 2016. "Minsky at Basel: A Global Cap to Build an Effective Postcrisis Banking Supervision Framework," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_875, Levy Economics Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Banking; bail-outs; capital requirements; deposit guarantees; Glass-Steagall; resolution; ring-fencing; structural reform; Volcker rule;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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