Drawing on its extensive experience in helping restructure and reform financial systems, the World Bank examines the state of African domestic financial systems in a global comparison. It identifies promising trends as well as pinpointing the major shortcomings that are observed across sub-Saharan Africa. Policy recommendations distinguish between those designed to make finance a more effective driver of economic growth and those designed to give low income, small-scale and other excluded groups better access to financial services.
We examine the impact of bank supervision on the financing obstacles faced by almost 5,000 corporations across 49 countries. We find that firms in countries with strong official supervisory agencies that directly monitor banks tend to face greater financing obstacles. Moreover, powerful official supervision tends to increase firm reliance on special connections and corruption in raising external finance, which is consistent with political/regulatory capture theories. Creating a supervisory agency that is independent of the government and banks mitigates the adverse consequences of powerful supervision. Finally, we find that bank supervisory agencies that force accurate information disclosure by banks and enhance private monitoring tend to ease the financing obstacles faced by firms.
"Beck, Cull, and Jerome assess the effect of privatization on performance in a panel of Nigerian banks for the period 1990--2001. They find evidence of performance improvement in nine banks that were privatized, which is remarkable given the inhospitable environment for true financial intermediation. Their results also suggest negative effects of the continuing minority government ownership on the performance of many Nigerian banks. The authors' results complement aggregate indications of decreasing financial intermediation over the 1990s. Banks that focused on investment in government bonds and non-lending activities enjoyed a relatively higher performance. This paper--a product of the Finance Team, Development Research Group--is part of a larger effort in the group to study the effects of bank privatization in developing countries"--World Bank web site.
Economies with better developed financial sectors have a comparative advantage in manufacturing industries. A two-sector model shows the sector with large scale economies profiting more than the other from a well-developed financial sector. In countries with higher levels of financial development, manufactured exports represent a higher share of GDP and of merchandise exports, and those countries have a higher trade balance in manufactured goods.
Why do some countries have growth-enhancing financial systems, while others do not? Why have some countries developed the necessary investor protection laws and contract-enforcement mechanisms to support financial institutions and markets, while others have not? This paper reviews existing research on the role of legal institutions in shaping financial development.
This new database of indicators of financial development and structure across countries and over time unites a range of indicators that measure the size, activity, and efficiency of financial intermediaries and markets.
Germany's private deposit insurance scheme with its "clublike" nature, cannot easily be transplanted to countries with weaker institutions. But it offers useful lessons for countries that want to set up a new scheme or reform an existing one.