International Economics and Economic Policy

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 449–466 | Cite as

Spillovers of banking regulation: the effect of the German bank levy on the lending rates of regional banks and their local competitors

  • Ulrich Haskamp
Original Paper


During the financial crisis numerous European governments decided to rescue domestic banks with public funds to prevent a collapse of the banking system. To internalize the public costs, bank levies have been introduced in many countries. This paper analyzes the German bank levy which was implemented from 2011 till 2014. We examine not only if banks shift the cost of the levy to their customers’ lending rates, but also whether there are spillovers to their local competitors. The German savings and cooperative banks are a perfect setting to study such effects as they only operate within well-defined regions, allowing us to identify their local competitors. Additionally, only some of them are subject to the levy due to a tax allowance. Firstly, we find that a bank that has to pay the bank levy raises its lending rate by about 0.14 percentage points. Secondly, we examine whether the increased lending rates of paying banks spill over to their local competitors. We find this indirect effect to be about one third of the size. Lastly, adverse effects of the levy on paying banks’ loan supply growth are absorbed by their competitors to a certain extent.


Bank regulation Bank levy Regional spillover Lending rates 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ruhr Graduate School in EconomicsEssenGermany
  2. 2.Chair for Macroeconomics, Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany

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