Nov 30, 2017
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How does a Bail-In or Bail Out impact bank depositors?

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Bail-In and Bail-Out


A bail-in is rescuing a financial institution from the financial difficulties by using the money of investors, shareholders or depositors. As per the earliest contemporary reference,

a “bail-in” is an alternative process for bank liability resolution. It would give officials the authority to force banks to recapitalise from within, using private capital, not public money.

The Economist Article titled “From bail-out to bail-in”, retrieved 2nd December 2017, Original Article by Paul Calello and Wilson Ervin

The “bail-in” basically means reconstructing the capital of insolvent bank. The equity holders and small depositors will not get any money, medium sized creditors will get stocks and large creditors will get 100%. There is no requirement for public money.

A bail-out is totally opposite to bail-in. It involves deployment of investors or depositors holdings for rescuing financial institutions. Comparatively , bail-outs are greater.

At the height of the financial crisis, governments use to avoid bail-in as it might affect the creditors of other banks . The government has increased the bail-out. Therefore, investors and depositors has taken the charge of rescuing the financial institution.

Now a days, European and U.S. countries prefer a bail-in rather than using a bail-out mechanism. So only option left with the banks is to go for bail-in. The reason behind it was that the public(taxpayers) had to suffer for the mistake of Big banks. During the financial crisis, government used pay trillions of dollars of taxpayer’s money to rescue to financial institution.

Cyprus Experiment

While the general public came to know about bail-out during the Great Recession of 2008, bail-in grabbed the attention in 2013 after government adopted to it in Cyprus. The Bank of Cyprus forfeited half of the amount of depositors. Uninsured depositors in Laiki, also lost their money as the bank failed to recovery from financial crisis.Bank of Cyprus said it had converted 37.5pc of deposits exceeding €100,000 into “class A” shares, with an additional 22.5pc held as a buffer for possible conversion in the future.


A bail-out resemble providing financial assistance to the business which is facing financial crisis or to the failing business by an individuals or other business entities or a government. Bail-out can be converted into loans, bonds, stocks or cash. They can be recovered later on. Normally, industries or businesses adopt bail-out when they are not financially stable and sound to bear more losses.

The compaines suffering from financial instability, normally employ huge number of people. Therfore, some people beleive that the economy wouldnt sustain such unemployment. As a result of this situation, companies declare bail-out. Normally companies declare bail-out whose liquidation will affect the economy.

U.S. government brought one of the biggest bail-out in world history in 2008. Many financial institutions experienced huge losses which affected the mortgage market and resulted into credit crisis. Banks which were providing huge number of mortgages with lower credit score went down facing huge losses as many mortgages into default.

The government came up with the Troubled Asset Relief Program( TARP) which authorizes the government to purchase toxic assets of financial institution from its balance sheet up to $700. The TARP came as many of well-known financial institutions like  Countrywide, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns started facing financial crisis and begun failing. Towards the end, TARP almost expended more than $426 billion to financial institution for their toxic assets.


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