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Welcome to the personal website of Prof. Christoph Basten, FRM.

I am an Assistant Professor (fixed-term until summer 2024) in the Department of Finance at the University of Zurich (UZH), and also affiliated with the Research Priority Program Financial Market Regulation, the Swiss Finance Institute (SFI), and CESifo. In September-December 2021, I was a Visiting Scholar at the NYU Stern School of Business. Further information is available amongst others on my UZH home page and my LinkedIn profile.

The main focus of my research agenda at the moment is on Banks' "Cross-Selling" of Loans to their Depositors. In work with Ragnar Juelsrud (Norges Bank) forthcoming in the Review of Financial Studies (RFS), we show that existing depositors are 20% more likely to also borrow from the same bank in the coming years, significantly raising the value of the deposit franchise.  This incentivizes banks to offer more attractive deposit rates to clients more likely to bring in cross-selling profits later. Once onboarded, clients hesitate to switch banks, and end up paying more rather than less for loans than otherwise comparable new clients of the bank. For a slightly longer (relatively) non-technical summary of our RFS findings, in English and German, see here.

Lower policy rates raise the net present value of future cross-selling profits and thereby incentivize banks to set lower deposit spreads, leading ceteris paribus to higher deposit and therefore loan growth. Ongoing work explores how this affects the Transmission of Monetary Policy.

Beyond efficiency gains to banks, cross-selling loans and deposits to the same clients can also expose banks to greater liquidity risks, as evidenced in the failure of Silicon Valley Bank in 2023. Another ongoing project explores how Risk Implications of Cross-Selling in Banking are best measured and managed.

Earlier research of mine has amongst others analyzed the first application of the Basel III macro-prudential tool "Counter-Cyclical Capital Buffer", the first use of Negative Interest Rate Policy with Tiered Remuneration, mortgage lending through FinTech platforms, insurance against global warming related Natural Catastrophes, and the effects of tax policy on house prices.

After reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Oxford and Economics at Pompeu Fabra University, I obtained a PhD in Applied Economics at the EUI and as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard. Thereafter, I gained more applied experience working for close to 5 years for the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA, before returning to academia as an Assistant Professor at the University of Zurich in 2017.


Recent News:

April 2024: Presenting "Monetary Policy Transmission through Cross-Selling Banks", joint with R. Juelsrud, at the Inaugural Conference of the Eurosystem network "Challenges for Monetary Policy Transmission" on April 25.

November 2023: Presenting my Agenda on Cross-Selling in Banking at the Constance Seminar in Empirical Microeconomics on November 16.

October 2023: Highlights this month include an invited discussion at the ECB-IMF Conference on Macroprudential Policy (Oct 17-18), and a paper presentation at at 2023 Münster Workshop on Banking Research (Oct 27-28).

September 2023: Visiting NYU Stern until the UZH semester start.

August 2023: The new SFI Roundup, to which I contributed a small portion of the insights, discusses prospects for the Swiss Real Estate market.

July 2023: Presenting on July 7 at the "Money and Finance Research" (MoFiR) Conference in Naples, and on August 23 at the CEPR ES Conference of Financial Intermediation in Athens!

June 2023: Presenting on June 2 at the FIRS Conference in Vancouver!

May 2023: On May 10, Professors Mettler, Ongena and myself will be discussing our updated SFI Meta Index on Financial Regulation here.

April 2023: Join Alexander Wagner and myself for an interesting discussion on crisis resilience of Swiss finance at the UZH Center for Crisis Competence on April 25!

March 2023: Join us on April 3-5 at the Swiss Winter Conference on Financial Intermediation, which I'm co-organizing in Gerzensee this year! Program and details on how to join through Zoom available here.

February 2023: Check out our new SFI Working Paper! Merike Kukk (Eesti Pank), Jan Toczynski (UZH) and myself  on how household financial choices and hence future inflation respond to current personal inflation exposure beyond the "headline inflation" of the "representative consumer" reported in most media and central bank communication!

December 2022: Our work on cross-selling in bank household relationships has now been invited for a revision by the Review of Financial Studies.

November 2022: If you have interesting research on financial intermediation, consider submitting it for our Swiss Winter Conference on Financial intermediation by November 18!

October 2022: I look forward to presenting ongoing work on FinTech at the upcoming FinTech Symposium of the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) on November 7-8.

September 2022: I present at the Federal Reserve Board on Sep. 14 and at the FDIC Bank Research Conference on Sep. 15/16, both onsite in Washington, DC.

August 2022: Our work on the role of cross-selling for banks and financial systems is now out as SFI Paper No 22-65.

July 2022: On July 1, I present at the WEA-IBEFA in Portland, OR.

June 2022: I organize an UZH Conference on Banks and Central Banks on June 15.

May 2022: On June 10, I discuss the future of Swiss banking with former Swiss foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey and with Blockchain and Fintech expert Ante Plazibat upon invitation of Switzerland's biggest provider of banking software Finnova.

April 2022: We present our updated SFI Global Financial Regulation Index at the "Fédération des Entreprises Romandes Genève" (FER) in Geneva on April 27.

March 2022: The program for the Swiss Winter Conference on Financial Intermediation (SWCFI), which I co-organize for April 3-6, is now ready, see here.

January 2022: After my Fall Semester visit of NYU Stern School of Business, I am now back in Zurich and looking forward to upcoming seminar presentations at the SNB (February 4), IMF (February 7), UZH (February 28), FINMA (March 22), SWCFI (April 4), ECB (May 10), SFI  (13 June), UFSP Financial Market Regulation, WEA-IBEFA (1 July).