The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
In a dynamic theoretical framework, commercial banks compete for customers by setting acceptance criteria for granting loans, taking regulatory requirements into account. By easing its acceptance criteria a bank faces a trade-off between attracting more demand for loans, thus making higher per period profits, and a deterioration of the quality of its loan portfolio, thus tolerating a higher risk of failure. Our main results state that more stringent capital adequacy requirements lead banks to set stricter acceptance criteria, and that increased competition in the banking industry leads to riskier bank behavior. In an extension of our basic model, we show that it may be beneficial for a bank to hold more equity than prescribed by the regulator, even though holding equity is more expensive than attracting deposits.