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Tech in Fin before FinTech: Blessing or Curse for Financial Stability?

Yannick Timmer and Nicola Pierri

No 2020/014, IMF Working Papers from International Monetary Fund

Abstract: Motivated by the world-wide surge of FinTech lending, we analyze the implications of lenders’ information technology adoption for financial stability. We estimate bank-level intensity of IT adoption before the global financial crisis using a novel dataset that provides information on hardware used in US commercial bank branches after mapping them to their parent bank. We find that higher intensity of IT-adoption led to significantly lower non-performing loans when the crisis hit: banks with a one standard deviation higher IT-adoption experienced 10% lower non-performing loans. High-IT-adoption banks were not less exposed to the crisis through their geographical footprint, business model, funding sources, or other observable characteristics. Loan-level analysis indicates that high-IT-adoption banks originated mortgages with better performance and did not offload low-quality loans. We apply a simple text-analysis algorithm to the biographies of top executives and find that banks led by more “tech-oriented” managers adopted IT more intensively and experienced lower non-performing loans during the crisis. Our results suggest that technology adoption in lending can enhance financial stability through the production of more resilient loans.

Keywords: WP; IT adoption; adoption bank; bank characteristic; IT intensity; IT adopter; IT expenditure; year dummy; adopters lending; technology adoption; Nonperforming loans; Loans; Financial sector stability; Mortgages; Global; Technology; Financial Stability; Non-Performing Loans (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 43
Date: 2020-01-17
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ict, nep-mac and nep-pay
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