Too big to fail: some empirical evidence on the causes and consequences of public banking interventions in the United Kingdom

Working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 21 August 2012

Working Paper No. 460
By Andrew K Rose and Tomasz Wieladek

During the 2007-09 financial crisis, the banking sector received an extraordinary level of public support. In this empirical paper, we examine the determinants of a number of public sector interventions: government funding or central bank liquidity insurance schemes, public capital injections, and nationalisations. We use bank-level data spanning all British and foreign banks operating within the United Kingdom. We use multinomial logit regression techniques and find that a bank’s size, relative to the size of the entire banking system, typically has a large positive and non-linear effect on the probability of public sector intervention for a bank. We also use instrumental variable techniques to show that British interventions helped; there is fragile evidence that the wholesale (non-core) funding of an affected institution increased significantly following capital injection or nationalisation.

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