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Hakenes, Hendrik and Schnabel, Isabel (February 2006): Bank Size and Risk-Taking under Basel II. SFB/TR 15 Discussion Paper No. 88




We analyze the relationship between bank size and risk-taking under the New Basel Capital Accord. Using a model with imperfect competition and moral hazard, we show that the introduction of an internal ratings based (IRB) approach improves upon flat capital requirements if the approach is applied uniformly across banks and if the costs of implementation are not too high. However, the banks’ right to choose between the standardized and the IRB approaches under Basel II gives larger banks a competitive advantage and, due to fiercer competition, pushes smaller banks to take higher risks. This may even lead to higher aggregate risk-taking.