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Bank Bias in Europe: Effects on Systemic Risk and Growth

Author

Listed:
  • Sam Langfield

    (European Central Bank (ESRB Secretariat) and Bank of England)

  • Marco Pagano

    () (Università di Napoli Federico II CSEF, EEIF, and CEPR)

Abstract

Europe’s financial structure has become strongly bank-based – far more so than in other economies. We document that an increase in the size of the banking system relative to equity and private bond markets is associated with more systemic risk and lower economic growth, particularly during housing market crises. We argue that these two phenomena arise owing to an amplification mechanism, by which banks overextend and misallocate credit when asset prices rise, and ration it when they drop. The paper concludes by discussing policy solutions to Europe’s “bank bias”, which include reducing regulatory favouritism towards banks, while simultaneously supporting the development of securities markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Sam Langfield & Marco Pagano, 2015. "Bank Bias in Europe: Effects on Systemic Risk and Growth," CSEF Working Papers 408, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:408
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    banks; financial structure; systemic risk; bank regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services

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