Journal of Financial Services Research

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 37–69

The Impact of Regulatory Changes on the Risk-Taking Behavior of State Chartered Savings Banks

  • Paul A. Leonard
  • Rita Biswas

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007954410976

Cite this article as:
Leonard, P.A. & Biswas, R. Journal of Financial Services Research (1998) 13: 37. doi:10.1023/A:1007954410976


This study investigates changes in the risk-taking behavior of state chartered savings banks resulting from three types of regulatory changes: the expansion of asset investment powers contained in the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 and the Garn–St Germain Depository Institutions Act (DIA) of 1982, the authority to change organizational structure from mutual to stock form contained in the Financial Institutions Regulatory and Interest Rate Control Act of 1978 and DIA, and the change in intensity of regulatory oversight contained in the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989. Using data for New York state chartered savings banks for the period 1986 to 1991, the analysis found mixed results for the asset deregulation hypothesis that institutions eventually placed on the problem bank list invested more in deregulated assets. Strong support was found for the organizational structure hypothesis that stock savings banks have greater incentives to pursue value-maximizing levels of risk by using more leverage, growing at faster rates, and increasing credit risk. This finding suggests that the regulatory changes that permitted mutual to stock conversions may have had a significant negative impact on the severity of the thrift crisis. The results also suggest that increased regulatory scrutiny limited the risk-taking of New York state chartered savings banks after 1988.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul A. Leonard
  • Rita Biswas

There are no affiliations available

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