Banking and commerce: a liquidity approach

BIS Working Papers  |  No 78  | 
03 October 1999
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This paper looks at the advantages and disadvantages of mixing banking and commerce, using the "liquidity" approach to financial intermediation. Bringing a non-financial firm into a banking conglomerate may be advantageous because it may make it easier for the bank to dispose of assets seized in a loan default. The internal market formed inside the banking and commerce conglomerate increases the liquidity of such assets and improves the bank's ability to perform financial intermediation. More generally, owning a non-financial firm may act either as a substitute or a complement to commercial lending. In some cases, a bank will voluntarily refrain from making loans, choosing to become a non-bank bank in an unregulated environment.