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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The case for a second look at Canadian bank insolvency legislation Ruhl, Mary Louise


This thesis is an analysis of the bank insolvency process in Canada. The phenomenon of bank bailouts is examined and three possible rationale for bailouts are put forth. The conclusion is reached that bank bailouts can be justified on the basis of these rationale, and, therefore, that bank insolvency legislation should recognize the bailout process and provide an adequate and appropriate framework for this process. Three recent bank failures, Canadian Commercial Bank, Northland Bank and the Bank of British Columbia, are discussed, with particular emphasis on the different bailout tools used by the government in each case. These case studies are used as a framework within which to assess current Canadian bank insolvency legislation. The conclusion is reached that the legislative framework is inadequate to deal effectively with bank insolvency. By examining the American approach to bank insolvency and two recent Canadian studies on the subject, a model for reform is proposed. The model contemplates a more highly-structured legislative framework, with broad powers granted to the deposit insurer to implement a bailout in circumstances which justify this form of government intervention. Finally, this model is used as a basis on which to evaluate recent financial sector reform initiatives made by the federal government.

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