The New Financial Architecture: Banking Regulation in the 21st Century

By Benton E. Gup | Go to book overview

6
Banking Trends and Deposit Insurance Risk Assessment in the Twenty-First Century

Steven A. Seelig


INTRODUCTION

During the last decade of the twentieth century, the American banking industry and the global and domestic financial sectors have been undergoing major changes. These changes will profoundly affect bank regulation and deposit insurance as we enter the next century. In recent years there has been unprecedented consolidation in the banking and thrift industries in the United States, and the move toward consolidation is also occurring in many other countries. 1 Banks and nondepository institutions are competing with each other at an unprecedented level, and this is likely to continue, especially as banks receive additional powers to expand their product offerings and take advantage of their new powers. Advances in technology have not only changed the economies of scale in banking but have also affected customers' expectations and demands for services. Increased globalization of economic activity has increased the competitive nature of financial services while at the same time making banks more vulnerable to developments in other countries. The key questions are whether the current system of bank regulation and supervision allows for adequate risk assessment and monitoring to protect the government's interests as deposit insurer and whether the appropriate market incentives exist to promote the appropriate degree of risk taking by banks.

As we enter the twenty-first century, it is the changes in the competitive pressures faced by banks and thrifts, the shift in the size distribution

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