Does FinTech Increase Bank Risk Taking?


Selim A Elekdag ; Drilona Emrullahu ; Sami Ben Naceur

Publication Date:

January 26, 2024

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


Motivated by its rapid growth, this paper investigates how FinTech activities influence risk taking by financial intermediaries (FIs). In this context, this paper revisits an ongoing debate on the impact of competition on financial stability: on one side, it is argued that greater competition encourages greater risk taking (competition-fragility hypothesis), while the other side of the debate asserts that more competition can increase financial stability (competition-stability hypothesis). Using a curated databased covering over 10,000 FIs and global FinTech activities, we find a robust relationship whereby greater FinTech presence is associated with heightened risk taking by FIs, offering support for the competition-fragility hypothesis. However, the inclusion of bank-, industry-, and country-specific characteristics can alter this relationship. Importantly, there is suggestive evidence indicating that in certain cases, greater FinTech presence may be associated with less FI risk taking amid stronger domestic institutions. Notwithstanding the relevance for policy, this paper presents a novel framework that may help reconcile some of the conflicting results in the literature which have found supportive evidence for each of the two competing hypotheses.


Working Paper No. 2024/017





Publication Date:

January 26, 2024



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