Corporate Governance in European Banks: Essays on Bank Ownership

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http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-232-044-5
Julkaisun nimi: Corporate Governance in European Banks: Essays on Bank Ownership
Tekijä: Westman, Hanna
Muu tekijä: Svenska handelshögskolan, Institutionen för finansiell ekonomi och ekonomisk statistik, finansiell ekonomi
Hanken School of Economics, Department of Finance and Statistics, Finance
Opinnäytteen taso: Väitöskirja
Kuuluu julkaisusarjaan: Economics and Society - 200
ISSN: 0424-7256
ISBN: 978-952-232-044-5
Tiivistelmä: Banks are important as they have a central role in the financial system, where funds are channelled either through financial intermediaries, such as banks, or through financial markets, hence promoting growth in any economy. Recently, we have been reminded of the drawbacks of the central role of banks. The current financial crisis, which started out as a sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US, has become a global financial crisis with substantial impact on the real economy in many countries. Some of the roots to the current financial crisis can be sought in the changing role of banks and in bank corporate governance. Moreover, the substantial revitalising measures taken have been justified by the central role of banks. Not only are banks important, they are also very special. The fact that banks are regulated in conjunction with greater opacity, make bank corporate governance different from corporate governance in non-bank companies. Surprisingly little is, however, known about bank corporate governance, in particularly, in a European setting. Hence, the objective of this doctoral thesis is to provide new insights in this research area by examining banks from 37 different European countries. Each of the three essays included in the doctoral thesis examines a particular aspect of bank corporate governance. In the first essay the interaction between the regulatory environment a bank operates in and its ownership structure is explored. Indicators of the severity of the moral hazard problem induced by the deposit insurance system and implicit too-big-to-fail government guarantee, particular features of deposit insurance systems as well as legal protection of shareholders, legal origin of a country and level of integration to the European community are used in the analysis. The empirical findings confirm previous findings on the link between legal protection of shareholders and ownership structure. Moreover, they show that differences in deposit insurance system features can explain some of the differences in ownership structure across European banks. In the second essay the impact of management and board ownership on the profitability of banks with different strategy is examined. The empirical findings suggest that the efficiency of these two particular corporate governance mechanisms varies with the characteristics of the agency problem faced by the bank. More specifically, management ownership is important in opaque non-traditional banks, whereas board ownership is important in traditional banks, where deposit insurance reduces the monitoring incentives of outsiders. The higher profitability does, however, go together with higher risk. In the third essay the profitability and risk of commercial, savings and cooperative banks are compared. The empirical findings suggest that distinct operational and ownership characteristics rather than only the mere fact that a bank is a commercial, savings or cooperative bank explain the profitability and risk differences. The main insight from the three essays is that a number of different aspects should be addressed simultaneously in order to give the complexity of bank corporate governance justice.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10227/376
URN:ISBN:978-952-232-044-5
Päiväys: 2009-07-21
Avainsanat: bank ownership
agency problems
regulation
traditional vs. non-traditional bank operations
profitability
risk
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