Competition and stability in banking

CEPR Policy Insight No 50

Xavier Vives

This Policy insight models the trade-off between competition and stability in the banking sector. Competition might increase instability through two channels: by exacerbating the coordination problem of depositors/investors on the liability side and fostering panics; and by increasing incentives to take risk, and thus the raising probability of failure. Regulation can alleviate this competition-stability trade-off, but the design of optimal regulation has to take into account the intensity of competition.