Competition and Stability in Banking
The Role of Regulation and Competition Policy
Does too much competition in banking hurt society? What policies can best protect and stabilize banking without stifling it? Institutional responses to such questions have evolved over time, from interventionist regulatory control after the Great Depression to the liberalization policies that started in the United States in the 1970s. The global financial crisis of 2007–2009, which originated from an oversupply of credit, once again raised questions about excessive banking competition and what should be done about it. Competition and Stability in Banking addresses the critical relationships between competition, regulation, and stability, and the implications of coordinating banking regulations with competition policies.
Xavier Vives argues that while competition is not responsible for fragility in banking, there are trade-offs between competition and stability. Well-designed regulations would alleviate these trade-offs but not eliminate them, and the specificity of competition in banking should be accounted for. Vives argues that regulation and competition policy should be coordinated, with tighter prudential requirements in more competitive situations, but he also shows that supervisory and competition authorities should stand separate from each other, each pursuing its own objective. Vives reviews the theory and empirics of banking competition, drawing on up-to-date analysis that incorporates the characteristics of modern market-based banking, and he looks at regulation, competition policies, and crisis interventions in Europe and the United States, as well as in emerging economies.
Focusing on why banking competition policies are necessary, Competition and Stability in Banking examines regulation's impact on the industry's efficiency and effectiveness.
Xavier Vives is professor of economics and finance at the IESE Business School in Barcelona. His books include Information and Learning in Markets (Princeton) and Oligopoly Pricing.