Home

>

Contagion without deposit insurance: The South African small bank crisis of 2002/3

Following the failure of Saambou bank in February 2002, another seven South African banks failed within a month, including the fifth-largest, and a further five within a year. In total, twenty-two small and mid-sized banks deregistered over two years: half the total number of banks, and nearly 10 per cent of the deposit base. South Africa is one of the few jurisdictions that does not have a explicit deposit insurance scheme. While such a scheme may have prevented the first failure, I show that it would not have prevented contagion. The banks that failed were all well capitalised and solvent, but had relatively high levels of short-term funding from non-bank financial institutions. They would not have qualified for a retail deposit insurance scheme, and would still have experienced a run of non-bank funding. This highlights that deposit insurance is best seen as a tool that should be used for its stated purposes (protecting vulnerable depositors), and not as a general financial stability tool that can prevent contagion. Indeed, if agents expect that the authorities will use deposit insurance to ‘bail-out’ a bank, this would introduce moral hazard.

Working paper 823
1 June 2020
SHARE THIS Working Paper PUBLICATION:

Related South Africa’s Cities and Growth Spatial Challenges and Policy Interventions Content

Request for Proposals: The role of cities as drivers of growth and employment
Background Urbanization in South Africa is expected to reach 80% by...
Call for Work
South Africa’s future will be decided in our cities
Discussion Document 14 South Africa’s cities face multiple, overlap...
Dieter von Fintel, Justin Visagie, Ivan Turok, Takwanisa Machemedze, Claus Rabe, Sebastian Galiani, Edward Glaeser
Discussion Document
Monitoring South Africa’s metropolitan economies: A survey of the data landscape
Discussion Document 13 Disparities in data across different metropo...
Dieter von Fintel
Discussion Document
Cities, productivity and Jobs in SA: Problems and potential
Discussion Document 12 Cities contribute to national prosperity bec...
Ivan Turok, Justin Visagie
Discussion Document
Place-based economic policies: international lessons for South Africa
Discussion Document 11 Place-based policies are designed to support...
Harris Selod, Claus Rabe
Discussion Document
What luminosity data can and cannot reveal about South Africa’s urban economies
Discussion Document 10 As novel types of data are becoming availabl...
Takwanisa Machemedze
Discussion Document
Crime: A policy-oriented survey
Discussion Document 9 South Africa has a reputation for having high...
Sebastian Galiani
Discussion Document
Virtual CDE Workshop on SA Cities and Growth
Urban economics has provided powerful insights into how the charact...
Workshop

Search Resources

Ground Floor Brookside Building
11 Imam Haron Road
Claremont, 7700
Cape Town

PostNet Suite # 109
Private Bag X1005
Claremont 7735
Cape Town

Get Social