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Trends in the Australian Banking System: Implications for Financial System Stability and Monetary Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher Kent

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Guy Debelle

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Abstract

Financial system stability is defined in terms of the expected macroeconomic losses that arise from financial system disturbances. This captures both the probability of various financial disturbances and the size of the macroeconomic costs arising from such disturbances. Because of the links between the real sector of the economy and the financial sector, monetary policy needs to be cognisant of the potential for financial system stability. We develop a general framework for policy analysis which highlights the trade-off between financial system stability and efficiency. We use this framework to analyse the potential impact on stability and efficiency of three current pressures in the Australian financial system. Namely, consolidation among the largest banks, the formation of large financial conglomerates, and greater opportunities for smaller niche institutions provided by technological developments. We develop a simple model to show that consolidation might reduce system stability through a loss of diversification – which is important in the case of idiosyncratic shocks to individual financial institutions. Offsetting this effect, consolidation might increase system stability if contagion is an important source of failure of financial institutions. Conglomeration has two offsetting effects in terms of system stability: diversification across different financial services can reduce the probability of failure of an individual institution; and contamination, which can lead to contagion flowing from failure of an unhealthy arm of the conglomerate.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Kent & Guy Debelle, 1999. "Trends in the Australian Banking System: Implications for Financial System Stability and Monetary Policy," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp1999-05, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp1999-05
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    File URL: http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/1999/pdf/rdp1999-05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jalal D. Akhavein & Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1996. "The Effects of Megamergers on Efficiency and Prices: Evidence from a Bank Profit Function," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-03, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Berger, Allen N & Hannan, Timothy H, 1989. "The Price-Concentration Relationship in Banking," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 291-299, May.
    3. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1995. "Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 27-48, Fall.
    4. Schaefer, Stephen M, 1998. " Robert Merton, Myron Scholes and the Development of Derivative Pricing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(2), pages 425-445, June.
    5. Allen, Franklin & Santomero, Anthony M., 1997. "The theory of financial intermediation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(11-12), pages 1461-1485, December.
    6. Ceyla Pazarbasioglu & Claudia H Dziobek, 1997. "Lessons From Systemic Bank Restructuring; A Survey of 24 Countries," IMF Working Papers 97/161, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Goldberg, Lawrence G. & Rai, Anoop, 1996. "The structure-performance relationship for European banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 745-771, May.
    8. Christopher Kent & Philip Lowe, 1997. "Asset-price Bubbles and Monetary Policy," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9709, Reserve Bank of Australia.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Brousseau, Vincent & Detken, Carsten, 2001. "Monetary policy and fears of financial instability," Working Paper Series 0089, European Central Bank.
    2. Penny Neal, 2004. "X-Efficiency and Productivity Change in Australian Banking," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 174-191, June.
    3. Christopher Kent & Crystal Ossolinski & Luke Willard, 2007. "The Rise of Household Indebtedness," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Christopher Kent & Jeremy Lawson (ed.), The Structure and Resilience of the Financial System Reserve Bank of Australia.
    4. Carolyn Currie, 2003. "Towards a General Theory of Financial Regulation: Predicting, Measuring and Preventing Financial Crises," Working Paper Series 132, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
    5. Udaibir S Das & Marc G Quintyn & Kina Chenard, 2004. "Does Regulatory Governance Matter for Financial System Stability? An Empirical Analysis," IMF Working Papers 04/89, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial system stability and efficiency; consolidation; conglomeration;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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