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.
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.
Financial sector development fosters economic growth and reduces poverty by widening and broadening access to finance and allocating society's savings more efficiently. The author first discusses three pillars on which sound and efficient financial systems are built: macroeconomic stability and effective and reliable contractual and informational frameworks. He then describes three different approaches to government involvement in the financial sector: the laissez-faire view, the market-failure view and the market-enabling view. Finally, the author analyzes the sequencing of financial sector reforms and discusses the benefits and challenges that emerging markets face when opening their financial systems to international capital markets.
"While Bangladesh has embarked on a path to reform its financial system, most prominently by privatizing its government-owned banks, the Nationalized Commercial Banks (NCBs), a sustainable long-term expansion of the financial system requires a more substantial change in the role of government. Using recent research and international comparisons, this paper argues that the government should move from its role as an operator and arbiter in the financial system to a facilitator role. This implies not only divestment from government-owned banks, but also de-politicization of the licensing process and a market-based bank failure resolution framework that focuses on intermediation and not on the r...
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.
"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.