G28 Government Policy and Regulation
Organizational choices of banks and the effective supervision of transnational financial institutions
- This paper outlines relatively easy to implement reforms for the supervision of
transnational banking-groups in the E.U. that should not be primarily based on legal form
but on the actual risk structures of the pertinent financial institutions. The proposal also
aims at paying close attention to the economics of public administration and international
relations in allocating competences among national and supranational supervisory bodies.
Before detailing the own proposition, this paper looks into the relationship between
sovereign debt and banking crises that drive regulatory reactions to the financial turmoil in
the Euro area. These initiatives inter alia affirm effective prudential supervision as a pivotal
element of crisis prevention.
In order to arrive at a more informed idea, which determinants apart from a perceived
appetite for regulatory arbitrage drive banks’ organizational choices, this paper scrutinizes
the merits of either a branch or subsidiary structure for the cross-border business of
financial institutions. In doing so, it also considers the policy-makers perspective. The analysis
shows that no one size fits all organizational structure is available and concludes that
banks’ choices should generally not be second-guessed, particularly because they are subject
to (some) market discipline.
The analysis proceeds with describing and evaluating how competences in prudential
supervision are currently allocated among national and supranational supervisory authorities.
In order to assess the findings the appraisal adopts insights form the economics of public
administration and international relations. It argues that the supervisory architecture has to
be more aligned with bureaucrats’ incentives and that inefficient requirements to cooperate
and share information should be reduced. Contrary to a widespread perception, shifting responsibility
to a supranational authority cannot solve all the problems identified.
Resting on these foundations, the last part of this paper finally sketches an alternative
solution that dwells on far-reaching mutual recognition of national supervisory regimes
and allocates competences in line with supervisors’ incentives and the risk inherent in crossborder
The Single Supervisory Mechanism - Panacea or Quack Banking Regulation? : preliminary assessment of the evolving regime for the prudential supervision of banks with ECB involvement
- This paper analyzes the evolving architecture for the prudential supervision of banks in the euro area. It is primarily concerned with the likely effectiveness of the SSM as a regime that intends to bolster financial stability in the steady state. By using insights from the political economy of bureaucracy it finds that the SSM is overly focused on sharp tools to discipline captured national supervisors and thus underincentives their top-level personnel to voluntarily contribute to rigid supervision. The success of the SSM in this regard will hinge on establishing a common supervisory culture that provides positive incentives for national supervisors. In this regard, the internal decision making structure of the ECB in supervisory matters provides some integrative elements. Yet, the complex procedures also impede swift decision making and do not solve the problem adequately. Ultimately, a careful design and animation of the ECB-defined supervisory framework and the development of inter-agency career opportunities will be critical.
The ECB will become a de facto standard setter that competes with the EBA. A likely standoff in the EBA’s Board of Supervisors will lead to a growing gap in regulatory integration between SSM-participants and other EU Member States.
Joining the SSM as a non-euro area Member State is unattractive because the current legal framework grants no voting rights in the ECB’s ultimate decision making body. It also does not supply a credible commitment opportunity for Member States who seek to bond to high quality supervision.
Basel III and CEO compensation in Banks : pay structures as a regulatory signal
- This paper proposes a new regulatory approach that implements capital requirements contingent on managerial compensation. We argue that excessive risk taking in the financial sector originates from the shareholder moral hazard created by government guarantees rather than from corporate governance failures within banks. The idea of the proposed regulation is to utilize the compensation scheme to drive a wedge between the interests of top management and shareholders to counteract shareholder risk-shifting incentives. The decisive advantage of this approach compared to existing regulation is that the regulator does not need to be able to properly measure the bank investment risk, which has been shown to be a difficult task during the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
Interbank network and bank bailouts : insurance mechanism for non-insured creditors?
- This paper presents a theory that explains why it is beneficial for banks to engage in circular lending activities on the interbank market. Using a simple network structure, it shows that if there is a non-zero bailout probability, banks can significantly increase the expected repayment of uninsured creditors by entering into cyclical liabilities on the interbank market before investing in loan portfolios. Therefore, banks are better able to attract funds from uninsured creditors. Our results show that implicit government guarantees incentivize banks to have large interbank exposures, to be highly interconnected, and to invest in highly correlated, risky portfolios. This can serve as an explanation for the observed high interconnectedness between banks and their investment behavior in the run-up to the subprime mortgage crisis.
Hidden gems and borrowers with dirty little secrets: investment in soft information, borrower self-selection and competition
- This paper empirically examines the role of soft information in the competitive interaction between relationship and transaction banks. Soft information can be interpreted as a private signal about the quality of a firm that is observable to a relationship bank, but not to a transaction bank. We show that borrowers self-select to relationship banks depending on whether their privately observed soft information is positive or negative. Competition affects the investment in learning the private signal from firms by relationship banks and transaction banks asymmetrically. Relationship banks invest more; transaction banks invest less in soft information, exacerbating the selection effect. Finally, we show that firms where soft information was important in the lending decision were no more likely to default compared to firms where only financial information was used.
Konzernverantwortung in der aufsichtsunterworfenen Finanzbranche
- Das Banken- und Versicherungsaufsichtsrecht benennt an mehreren Stellen ausdrücklich gruppenbezogene Pflichten des übergeordneten Unternehmens. Deren Realisierbarkeit hängt von gesellschafts-, insbesondere konzernrechtlichen Schranken ab, die für die Einflussnahme auf nachgeordnete Gruppenunternehmen bestehen. Der vorliegende Beitrag betrachtet das Zusammenspiel von Aufsichts- und Gesellschaftsrecht unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der regelungstragenden Ziele des ersteren. Die Gruppenverantwortung ist in dieser Sicht ein Institut, das zur Verwirklichung eines klar umrissenen, öffentlichen Interesses an der Befolgung bestimmter Normen das übergeordnete Unternehmen als interne Kontrollinstanz in die Pflicht nimmt und mit gruppendimensionalen Handlungspflichten belegt. Zur Gewährleistung der Effektivität dieses Instituts ist ein sektoral begrenzter Vorrang der aufsichtsrechtlichen Vorgaben anzuerkennen. Dieser ist durch die angemessene Berücksichtigung des mit dem Aufsichtsrecht verfolgten, öffentlichen Interesses als normativer Determinante der Leitungstätigkeit aller gruppenangehörigen Institute zu verwirklichen.
Systemic risk in the financial sector: what can we learn from option markets?
- In this paper, we propose a novel approach on how to estimate systemic risk and identify its key determinants. For all US financial companies with publicly traded equity options, we extract their option-implied value-at-risks (VaRs) and measure the spillover effects between individual company VaRs and the option-implied VaR of an US financial index. First, we study the spillover effect of increasing company risks on the financial sector. Second, we analyze which companies are most affected if the tail risk of the financial sector increases. We find that key accounting and market valuation metrics such as size, leverage, balance sheet composition, market-to-book ratio and earnings have a significant influence on the systemic risk profile of a financial institution. In contrast to earlier studies, the employed panel vector autoregression (PVAR) estimator allows for a causal interpretation of the results.