Do Banks Worry About Attentive Depositors? Evidence from Multiple-Brand Banks
58 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2020 Last revised: 28 Mar 2023
Date Written: March 27, 2023
Panic-based (non-fundamental) spikes in depositors' attention can be a source of bank fragility in theory, but separating such spikes from underlying fundamentals is challenging empirically. Using online search data, we show that during the Global Financial Crisis, UK banks facing surges in attention respond by increasing retail deposit rates, but only for instant withdrawal deposits. Exploiting variation across brands owned by the same bank (and thus sharing the same fundamentals), we find that banks respond even when surges are not justified by fundamentals. In addition, comparing onshore and offshore deposits by the same brand, we show that bank response is substantially stronger when the lack of deposit insurance and a larger presence of wholesale depositors magnifies potential losses to depositors.
Keywords: Banks, information acquisition, deposit insurance, banking crises.
JEL Classification: D81, G01, G21, G28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation