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BOK Working Paper No.2021-3, Financial Globalization: Effects on Banks’ Information Acquisition and Credit Risk

Economic Research Institute (82-2-759-5485) 2021.02.02 3687

Title : Financial Globalization: Effects on Banks’ Information Acquisition and Credit Risk

Author : Christopher Paik(BOK) 


Financial liberalization accelerates global banks’ entry into new markets where host countries hope to spur investment and economic growth. However, banks sometimes retreat from their global ambitions and exit these new markets. This study demonstrates how difficulties of foreign banks in new markets may emerge due to disadvantages in the ability to assess credit quality compared to that of established domestic banks. We present a duopoly model where two banks conduct investigations in the search of qualified loan borrowers. The model assumes that the domestic bank has a cost advantage in evaluating a borrower’s credit quality compared to the competing foreign bank. Despite the cost heterogeneity, an equilibrium exists in which two such banks coexist in the market. Specifically, the information cost advantaged bank orchestrates a cream skimming strategy which entails lower-price commitments of loan products and higher investigation levels to screen and find low-risk borrowers. In contrast, the information cost disadvantaged bank chooses a bottom fishing strategy which consists of higher-priced loan offers with lower investigation levels. This results in high acceptance rates of high-risk borrowers in the foreign bank’s loan profile and correspondingly, higher default rates. We analyze the results to derive implications for development policy.

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