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Did Foreign Banks “Cut and Run” or Stay Committed to Emerging Europe During the Crises?

Listed author(s):
  • John Bonin

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University)

  • Dana Louie
Registered author(s):

    Our objective is to examine empirically the behavior of foreign banks regarding real loan growth during a financial crisis for a set of countries in which these banks dominate the banking sectors due primarily to having taken over large existing former state-owned banks. The eight countries are among the most developed in Emerging Europe, their banking sectors having been modernized by the beginning of the time period. We consider a data period that includes an initial credit boom (2004 – 2007) followed by the global financial crisis (2008 & 2009) and the onset of the Eurozone crisis (2010). Our main innovations with respect to the existing literature on banking during the financial crisis are to include explicit consideration of exchange rate dynamics and to separate foreign banks into two categories, namely, subsidiaries of the Big 6 European MNBs and all other foreign-controlled banks. Our results show that bank lending was impacted adversely by the crisis but that the two types of foreign banks behaved differently. The Big 6 banks remained committed to the region in that their lending behavior was not different from that of domestic banks corroborating the notion that these countries are a “second home market” for these banks. Contrariwise, the other foreign banks were primarily responsible for fueling the credit boom prior to the crisis but then “cut and ran” by decreasing their lending appreciably during the crisis. Our results also indicate different bank behavior in countries with flexible exchange rate regimes from those in the Eurozone. Hence, we conclude that both innovations matter in empirical work on bank behavior during a crisis in the region and may, by extension, be relevant to other small countries in which banking sectors are dominated by foreign financial institutions.

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    File URL: http://repec.wesleyan.edu/pdf/jbonin/2015003_bonin.pdf
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    Paper provided by Wesleyan University, Department of Economics in its series Wesleyan Economics Working Papers with number 2015-003.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2015
    Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2015-003
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    1. de Haas, Ralph & van Lelyveld, Iman, 2010. "Internal capital markets and lending by multinational bank subsidiaries," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-25, January.
    2. Thorsten Beck & Hans Degryse & Ralph de Haas & Neeltje van Horen, 2014. "When arm's length is too far. Relationship banking over the business cycle," DNB Working Papers 431, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    3. Cull, Robert & Martínez Pería, María Soledad, 2013. "Bank ownership and lending patterns during the 2008–2009 financial crisis: Evidence from Latin America and Eastern Europe," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 4861-4878.
    4. Rachel A. Epstein, 2014. "When do foreign banks 'cut and run'? Evidence from west European bailouts and east European markets," Review of International Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(4), pages 847-877, August.
    5. Zsófia Arvai & Karl Driessen & Ínci Ötker-Robe, 2009. "Regional Financial Interlinkages and Financial Contagion within Europe," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 59(6), pages 522-540, December.
    6. John P Bonin, 2010. "From Reputation amidst Uncertainty to Commitment under Stress: More than a Decade of Foreign-Owned Banking in Transition Economies," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 52(4), pages 465-494, December.
    7. Ralph Haas & Iman Lelyveld, 2014. "Multinational Banks and the Global Financial Crisis: Weathering the Perfect Storm?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(s1), pages 333-364, 02.
    8. Martin Brown & Ralph De Haas, 2012. "Foreign banks and foreign currency lending in emerging Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 27(69), pages 57-98, 01.
    9. Popov, Alexander & Udell, Gregory F., 2012. "Cross-border banking, credit access, and the financial crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 147-161.
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