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Do banks benefit from internationalization? Revisiting the market power-risk nexus


  • Buch, Claudia M.
  • Koch, Cathérine Tahmee
  • Koetter, Michael


Recent developments on international financial markets have called the benefits of bank globalization into question. Large, internationally active banks have acquired substantial market power, and international activities have not necessarily made banks less risky. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the actual link between bank internationalization, bank risk, and market power. Analyzing this link is the purpose of this paper. We jointly estimate the determinants of risk and market power of banks, and we analyze the effects of changes in terms of the number of foreign countries (the extensive margin) and the volume of foreign assets (the intensive margin). Our paper has four main findings. First, there is a strong negative feedback effect between risk and market power. Second, banks with higher shares of foreign assets, in particular those held through foreign branches, have higher market power at home. Third, holding assets in a large number of foreign countries tends to increase bank risk. Fourth, the impact of internationalization differs across banks from different banking groups and of different size.

Suggested Citation

  • Buch, Claudia M. & Koch, Cathérine Tahmee & Koetter, Michael, 2010. "Do banks benefit from internationalization? Revisiting the market power-risk nexus," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2010,09, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp2:201009

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pierre-Guillaume Meon & Laurent Weill, 2005. "Can mergers in Europe help banks hedge against macroeconomic risk?," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(5), pages 315-326.
    2. Juan Fernández De Guevara & Joaquín Maudos, 2007. "Explanatory Factors Of Market Power In The Banking System," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 75(3), pages 275-296, June.
    3. Caminal, Ramon & Matutes, Carmen, 2002. "Market power and banking failures," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(9), pages 1341-1361, November.
    4. Gabriel Jiménez & Jose A. Lopez & Jesús Saurina, 2007. "How does competition impact bank risk-taking?," Working Paper Series 2007-23, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    5. David Martinez-Miera & Rafael Repullo, 2010. "Does Competition Reduce the Risk of Bank Failure?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(10), pages 3638-3664, October.
    6. Demirgüç-Kunt, AslI & Detragiache, Enrica & Tressel, Thierry, 2008. "Banking on the principles: Compliance with Basel Core Principles and bank soundness," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 511-542, October.
    7. David Martinez-Miera & Rafael Repullo, 2010. "Does Competition Reduce the Risk of Bank Failure?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(10), pages 3638-3664, October.
    8. Maudos, Joaquin & de Guevara, Juan Fernandez, 2007. "The cost of market power in banking: Social welfare loss vs. cost inefficiency," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 2103-2125, July.
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    More about this item


    market power-risk nexus; international banking; micro-data; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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