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Universal Banking

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  • George J. Benston
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    Abstract

    Universal banks can offer the entire range of financial services within the bank or through subsidiaries. Most countries permit universal banking. In contrast, the United States is served only by specialized banks. Universal banking, particularly in Germany, is contrasted with specialized banking with respect to their effect on financial stability, economic development, other financial institutions, concentration of political and economic power, consumer choice, and conflicts of interest. This examination, including a review of relevant empirical studies, leads to the conclusion that universal banking offers many benefits and few costs to U.S. consumers.

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.8.3.121
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

    Volume (Year): 8 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
    Pages: 121-143

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:8:y:1994:i:3:p:121-43

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.8.3.121
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    1. Berger, Allen N. & Hancock, Diana & Humphrey, David B., 1993. "Bank efficiency derived from the profit function," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 317-347, April.
    2. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    3. Mester, Loretta J., 1992. "Traditional and nontraditional banking: An information-theoretic approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 545-566, June.
    4. Neuburger, Hugh & Stokes, Houston H., 1974. "German Banks and German Growth, 1883–1913: an Empirical View," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(03), pages 710-731, September.
    5. Steinherr, Alfred & Huveneers, Christian, 1990. "Universal Banks: The Prototype of Successful Banks in the Integrated European Market? A View inspired by German Experience," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 1990001, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    6. Jensen, Michael C, 1988. "Takeovers: Their Causes and Consequences," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 21-48, Winter.
    7. Berg, Sigbjorn Atle & Forsund, Finn R. & Hjalmarsson, Lennart & Suominen, Matti, 1993. "Banking efficiency in the Nordic countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 371-388, April.
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