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.
This study examines how depositors choose among different banks and over time in Colombia, focusing on whether they discipline bank behavior. By controlling for a more comprehensive set of risk/return factors, the study improves upon conventional market discipline tests. Panel data estimations for 1985-99 show that depositors prefer banks with stronger fundamentals, and that banks tend to improve their fundamentals after being “punished” by depositors. Banks with stronger fundamentals benefit from lower interest costs and higher lending rates. Market (or “regulatory”) discipline therefore appears to exist in Colombia, perhaps thanks to certain key design features of the deposit insurance scheme.