Alternative Banking and Theory
Butzbach Olivier () and
E. von Mettenheim Kurt ()
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Butzbach Olivier: Department of Political Science, Second University of Naples, Caserta, Italy
E. von Mettenheim Kurt: Department of Social and Legal Sciences, FGV-EAESP, Av. 9 de Julho 2029, São Paulo 01313-902, Brazil
Accounting, Economics, and Law: A Convivium, 2015, vol. 5, issue 2, 105-171
Unlike business models of private banks based on profit maximization and shareholder-oriented governance, alternative banks (such as cooperative banks, government savings banks, and special purpose banks) share business models based on sustainable returns with longer time horizons, corporate missions that include social and public policy goals, and stakeholder-oriented governance. Strong evidence from recent research suggests that alternative banks often equal or outperform joint-stock banks in terms of efficiency, profitability, and risk management. This counters core ideas in contemporary banking theory and expectations of regulators about the superiority of private ownership and market-based banking. Concepts and theories from banking studies help explain how alternative banks outperform private banks in core functions such as creating and managing liquidity, pooling deposits, and reducing information asymmetries and agency costs. However, heterodox theories of the firm and institutional approaches to competitive advantage broaden the scope of analysis to explain further historical, social, and organizational advantages (and risks) in alternative banking. Alternative banks therefore require, and may inspire, alternative theories of banking and new approaches to bank regulation.
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