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

Author

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  • John Bonin

    (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University)

  • Dana Louie

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • John Bonin & Dana Louie, 2015. "Did Foreign Banks “Cut and Run” or Stay Committed to Emerging Europe During the Crises?," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2015-003, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2015-003
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2016.08.003
    Note: Earlier version available at http://repec.wesleyan.edu/pdf/jbonin/2015003_bonin.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alin-Marius ANDRIEȘ & Florentina IEȘAN-MUNTEAN & Simona NISTOR, 2016. "The effectiveness of policy interventions in CEE countries," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 7, pages 93-124, June.
    2. Rainer Haselmann & Paul Wachtel & Jonas Sobott, 2016. "Credit Institutions, Ownership and Bank Lending in Transition Countries," Working Papers 16-10, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P34 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Finance
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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