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Market discipline and the Australian government's deposit guarantee: depositor monitoring and influence on authorized deposit-taking institutions

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posted on 27.02.2017, 03:51 by Yan, Xing
This thesis provides a comprehensive analysis of depositor market discipline across Australian authorized deposit-taking institutions (stock-owned commercial banks, credit unions, and mutual building societies) by investigating both monitoring and influence dimensions of market discipline. It explores whether depositors monitor their institution’s risk taking, whether these institutions respond to depositor monitoring, and if this monitoring and influence differs between banks and mutuals. It also extends the literature by using Australia’s October 2008 deposit and wholesale funding guarantee to examine the interaction between deposit insurance and market discipline. The sample consists of 56 banks (23 Australian-incorporated banks and 33 foreign bank branches), 94 credit unions, and 9 mutual building societies from March 2002 to September 2010. Both the panel fixed effect estimation and system generalized method of moments are applied to test the related hypotheses. The findings are that depositor market discipline is at work through both monitoring and influence aspects in Australia. Specifically, depositors monitor institutional risk taking by reducing the deposit volumes and by requiring higher interest rates as risk increases. Institutions respond to this slowed deposit growth and higher deposit costs with reduced risk taking. Furthermore, depositor market discipline differs between banks and mutuals. While mutuals tend to attract less monitoring than banks, they are more responsive to it. Finally, the guarantee weakened monitoring by mutual depositors and by two of three bank depositor groups. The guarantee reduced market influence on banks, but not on the mutuals. The thesis contributes to the academic literature in several ways. It uses a rigorous definition of market discipline, examining both its monitoring and influence aspects. It also extends the market discipline literature by including financial mutuals, whereas the current literature tends to focus on commercial banks. Moreover, this study complements the literature by using the unique characteristics of Australia’s deposit and wholesale funding guarantee to revisit the interaction between deposit insurance and market discipline. Regarding methodology, this work improves on prior studies by adopting two approaches, namely, institution risk response and means reversion of institutions’ deposit interest rates based on a system generalized method of moments procedure. Finally, the novel data used in this research incorporate a higher data frequency and greater cross-sectional consistency than in prior research. The results have a number of important implications for depositors, managers, regulators, and policy makers. Depositors’ ability to induce these institutions to reduce their risk taking highlights the depositors’ role in disciplining financial firms. Managers should note that their risk taking is being monitored by depositors, so high levels of risk may be punished by reduced availability of deposit funds or an increased cost in deposits. Given that both bank and mutual depositors monitor the risk taking of their institutions, regulators and policy makers should encourage even more disclosure of information that facilitates depositor monitoring. Evidence of market influence implies that regulators can rely on market discipline to complement controls on risk taking. For policy makers, sound regulation must be in place to limit the moral hazard associated with an explicit deposit insurance scheme and therefore to reduce any adverse effect on market discipline.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Michael Skully

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Banking and Finance


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Business and Economics