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CEP discussion paper

Global banking: risk taking and competition


Direct involvement of global banks in local retail activities can reduce risk-taking by promoting local competition. We develop this argument through a model in which multinational banks operate simultaneously in different countries with direct involvement in imperfectly competitive local deposit and loan markets. The model generates predictions that are consistent with the foregoing argument as long as the expansionary impact of competition on multinational banks’ aggregate profits through larger scale is strong enough to offset its parallel contractionary impact through lower loan-deposit return margin (a result valid with both perfectly and imperfectly correlated loans’ risk). When this is the case, banking globalization also moderates the credit crunch following a deterioration in the investment climate. Compared with multinational banking, the beneficial effect of cross-border lending on risk-taking is weaker.


Ester Faia and Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano

27 March 2017     Paper Number CEPDP1471

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Trade programme.

This publication comes under the following theme: Global firms