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Working Paper

Commercial Banks in the Securities Business: A Review

This paper analyzes the potential effects of commercial banks’ expansion into the securities business, taking into account the underlying conditions assumed by the modern literature to explain the existence of financial intermediaries. The analysis focuses on the gains claimed to emerge with that expansion, particularly the gains due to information advantages and economies of scope, and on the costs claimed to arise with it, namely, those due to conflicts of interest and risk considerations. In addition, the paper discusses how these effects depend on the location of the securities unit within the bank’s organizational structure, and it presents the securities powers of commercial banks in the OECD countries.

Suggested Citation

Santos, João Cabral dos. 1996. “Commercial Banks in the Securities Business: A Review.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper No. 96-10.