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Topic 10 – Bank Failure. Lecture Outline Bank Failure Defining Terms in Bank Failure Causes of Bank Failure Bank Failure Case Studies Barings Banco Ambrosiano.

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Presentation on theme: "Topic 10 – Bank Failure. Lecture Outline Bank Failure Defining Terms in Bank Failure Causes of Bank Failure Bank Failure Case Studies Barings Banco Ambrosiano."— Presentation transcript:

1 Topic 10 – Bank Failure

2 Lecture Outline Bank Failure Defining Terms in Bank Failure Causes of Bank Failure Bank Failure Case Studies Barings Banco Ambrosiano BCCI

3 Bank Failure Banks are more vulnerable than other commercial firms Low cash to assets ratio - may require sale of earning assets to meet deposit obligation Bank failures are important to understand b/c crises spread Asian Crisis: Indonesia, Thailand and Korea. Failure spread through out the banking system as sick institutions infect the healthy and drag them down into insolvency

4 Defining Terms in Bank Failure Crash: It is the collapse of the price of an asset, or perhaps the failure of an important firm or bank. Panic: A sudden fright without cause - may occur in asset markets, or involve, a rush from less to more liquid assets A panic starts with a run (mob of depositors appear at the bank and its branches, demanding their money) To fulfil their demand, banks may call loans, refuse to lend new credit or sell assets

5 Defining Terms in Bank Failure A financial crisis may involve a crash, a panic or both. Contagion: Contagion is a systematic risk that cumulative losses will occur from an event that puts in motion a series of successive losses along a chain of institutions or markets that constitute a system.

6 Causes of Failure Goldstein and Turner (1996) Macroeconomic volatility: both external and domestic. A period of significant innovation Lending booms Long-term maturity / currency mismatches Heavy government involvement Inadequate preparation for financial liberalisation Weakness in accounting, disclosure or legal standards Fraud Inefficient regulators

7 Franklin National Bank (1974) 20th largest bank in USA - quick expansion. Unsound loans as a part of expansion strategy. FR refused permission to take over another bank. Large depositors withdrawal. Emergency borrowing of $1.75 billion from FR. Taken over by a consortium of seven European banks did not fail completely due to deposit insurance.

8 Continental Illinois (1982) American investment bank, involved in heavy lending in real estate and energy sector along with Penn Square. Lack of procedures to vet new loans. Poor quality loans to US corporate sector. Rumours spread that the bank was facing difficulty. Bank runs started and it became difficult to raise new funds. Comptroller of Currency intervened, and a private life boat was organised, but not sufficient. FDIC and Comptroller announced assistance. All CI directors were asked to resign in return.

9 Johnson Matthey Bankers (1984) An arm of Johnson Matthey, gold bullion dealer (5 th Largest in London). Significant volume of lending to Nigeria. Auditors did not show responsibility. They agreed with presentation of accounts jointly with the director of the bank. Poor communication between auditors and BOE (who were relatively soft) Lifeboat operation launched by BOE with the help of private banks. Too Big to Fail Amendment of Banking Act (1987). Prompted the establishment of committee (Treasury, BOE, and external experts).

10 Barings Crisis (1995) Barings Securities (part of the market making arm of the bank) was a leading equity broker in Asia and Latin America. About 1/3 employees based in Asia and more than half outside UK. The fund management operation (headed by Nick Leeson) had a reputation for its expertise in Eastern Europe and Asia.

11 Leesons Activities Overexposure to risk in the Far East was the main reason for Barings downfall. Mr Leeson was supposed to have been trying to profit by spotting differences in the prices of Nikkei-255 future contracts listed on Osaka securities Exchange (OSE) and the Singapore Monetary Exchange (SIMEX). Leeson seems to have decided to bet on the future direction of the Nikkei index after the Kobe earthquake.

12 Account Mr Leeson used a secret error account to hide trading losses. Barings London was deceived into thinking Mr Leeson made profits from arbitrage. But losses were accumulating in the account. It was reported that more than ¾ profits was earned through Mr Leesons business. All the time auditors failed to detect any wrongdoing. During the process of selling and buying, Mr Lessons action accumulated £827m losses.

13 Failure of Internal Controls Segmentation of the Barings group – a bewildering structure. Lack of understanding the nature of trading and the risks involved at a management level. Management failed to take action when numerous warning signs became evident (letters from SIMEX etc.) Lack of any internal body monitoring risk exposure in Singapore. No checks as to where the money from the Barings parent group was going

14 External Regulatory Failings BOE granted Barings solo status (Barings bank and Barings securities required to meet a single set of capital and exposure standard). BOE inexperienced and the rule of not taking more than 25% maximum equity capital exposure into single investment was not spotted. Coopers and Lybrand and Deloitte and Touche (external auditors of Barings) failed to conduct comprehensive tests that would have detected large funding requests from Singapore.

15 Banco Ambrosiano(1982) Italian bank based in Milan. Quoted on the Milan stock exchange. Subsidiary companies overseas (e.g. BAH). Massive fraud by chairman of the bank (and others). Chairman departed Milan for London after receiving a letter from BOI to reduce and explain overseas exposure. Chairman later found dead in London. Former Italian PM was also involved in fraud. Mass deposit withdrawal after confidence lost.

16 Banco Ambrosiano(1982) Bank of Italy launched life boat operation. Seven banks provided money. Later declared bankrupt by Italian court and taken over by another bank. BAH also suffered from losses of deposits, but Bank of Italy refused to launch life boat operation. BAH defaulted on loans and deposits. Weak relation b/w senior management and Bank of Italy are considered the root cause of this bank failure. Significant supervisory changes after this failure.

17 Bank of Credit and Commerce International (1991) In the UK, initially given the status of deposit taker but after amendment to Banking Act became full bank. Customers included Manuel Noriega (Panamian dictator) and international terrorist Abu Nidal. BCCI bought a Colombian bank with branches in Medellin and Cali (centre for cocaine trade and money laundering). International repute for capital flight, tax fraud and money laundering.

18 Bank of Credit and Commerce International (1991) Indicated in Florida, raided by British customs and executive imprisoned in Florida for money laundering. BOE and Price-Waterhouse failed to communicate with American regulatory authorities. Amendment of Banking Act (closing UK branches of an international bank if deemed necessary). Financial community began to realise importance of cross-border supervision.


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