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The performance of universal banks: Evidence from Switzerland

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  • Rime, Bertrand
  • Stiroh, Kevin J.

Abstract

This paper examines the production structure of Swiss banks in the period 1996-99. Using a variety of output specifications, we find evidence of large relative inefficiencies across Swiss banks. The results show the importance of accounting for the broad range of activities that universal banks undertake, e.g., failure to account for off-balance sheet items, trading, and brokerage and portfolio management activities leads profit efficiency to be dramatically understated. We find evidence of economies of scale for small and mid-size banks, but little evidence that significant scale economies remain for the very largest banks. Finally, evidence on scope economies is weak for the largest banks that are involved in a wide variety of activities. These results suggest few obvious benefits from the trend toward larger universal banks.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 27 (2003)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
Pages: 2121-2150

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:27:y:2003:i:11:p:2121-2150

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  1. Berger, Allen N. & Hanweck, Gerald A. & Humphrey, David B., 1987. "Competitive viability in banking : Scale, scope, and product mix economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 501-520, December.
  2. Panzar, John C & Rosse, James N, 1987. "Testing for "Monopoly" Equilibrium," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 443-56, June.
  3. Mitchell, Karlyn & Onvural, Nur M, 1996. "Economies of Scale and Scope at Large Commercial Banks: Evidence from the Fourier Flexible Functional Form," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 178-99, May.
  4. Jacob A. Bikker, 2001. "Efficiency in the European banking industry: an exploratory analysis to rank contries," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 17.
  5. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1997. "Efficiency of financial institutions: international survey and directions for future research," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1997. "Inside the black box: what explains differences in the efficiencies of financial institutions?," Working Papers 97-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  7. Cybo-Ottone, Alberto & Murgia, Maurizio, 2000. "Mergers and shareholder wealth in European banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 831-859, June.
  8. Cara S. Lown & Carol L. Osler & Philip E. Strahan & Amir Sufi, 2000. "The changing landscape of the financial services industry: what lies ahead?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Oct, pages 39-54.
  9. John H. Boyd & Stanley L. Graham, 1986. "Risk, regulation, and bank holding company expansion into nonbanking," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 2-17.
  10. Joseph P. Hughes, 1997. "Bank Capitalization and Cost: Evidence of Scale Economies in Risk Management and Signaling," Departmental Working Papers 199601, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  11. Werner Hermann & Martin Maurer, 1991. "Kostenvorteile im schweizerischen Universalbankensystem," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 127(III), pages 563-578, September.
  12. Rogers, Kevin E., 1998. "Nontraditional activities and the efficiency of US commercial banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 467-482, May.
  13. John H. Boyd & Stanley L. Graham, 1988. "The profitability and risk effects of allowing bank holding companies to merge with other financial firms: a simulation study," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-20.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Are Big Banks Better?
    by James Kwak in the baseline scenario on 2009-10-26 14:28:16
  2. Guest Post: Big Banks Are NOT More Efficient
    by George Washington in Naked capitalism on 2009-10-27 19:07:41
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Santiago Carbó Valverde & Francisco Rodríguez Fernández, 2004. "Scope Economies and Competition Beyond the Balance Sheet: a ‘broad banking’ Experience," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2004/13, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  2. Valentin Zelenyuk & Claudia Curi & Paolo Guarda & Ana Lozano-Vivas, 2011. "Is foreign-bank efficiency in financial centers driven by home-country characteristics?," CEPA Working Papers Series WP022011, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  3. Dietrich, Andreas & Wanzenried, Gabrielle, 2011. "Determinants of bank profitability before and during the crisis: Evidence from Switzerland," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 307-327, July.
  4. Lozano-Vivas, Ana & Pasiouras, Fotios, 2010. "The impact of non-traditional activities on the estimation of bank efficiency: International evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1436-1449, July.
  5. Carbo Valverde, Santiago & Fernandez, Francisco Rodriguez, 2005. "New evidence of scope economies among lending, deposit-taking, loan commitments and mutual fund activities," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 187-207.
  6. De Jonghe, O.G. & Disli, M. & Schoors, K., 2011. "Corporate Governance, Opaque Bank Activities, and Risk/Return Efficiency: Pre- and Post-Crisis Evidence from Turkey," Discussion Paper 2011-129, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Danny Leung & Terence Yuen, 2005. "Labour Market Adjustments to Exchange Rate Fluctuations: Evidence from Canadian Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers 05-14, Bank of Canada.
  8. Robert DeYoung & Douglas Evanoff & Philip Molyneux, 2009. "Mergers and Acquisitions of Financial Institutions: A Review of the Post-2000 Literature," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 87-110, December.
  9. Barbara Casu & Claudia Girardone, 2005. "An analysis of the relevance of off-balance sheet items in explaining productivity change in European banking," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(15), pages 1053-1061.
  10. Jason Allen & Ying Liu, 2007. "Efficiency and economies of scale of large Canadian banks," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(1), pages 225-244, February.
  11. Missonier-Piera, Franck, 2007. "Motives for fixed-asset revaluation: An empirical analysis with Swiss data," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 186-205.
  12. Iimi, Atsushi, 2004. "Banking sector reforms in Pakistan: economies of scale and scope, and cost complementarities," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 507-528, June.
  13. Grammatikos, Theoharry & Papanikolaou, Nikolaos I., 2013. "What lies behind the “too-small-to-survive” banks?," MPRA Paper 51431, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2013.
  14. HAKIMI Abdelaziz & Ahmet DKHILI Hichem & KHLAIFIA Wafa, 2012. "Universal Banking and Credit Risk: Evidence from Tunisia," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 2(4), pages 496-504.
  15. Yeager, Timothy J. & Yeager, Fred C. & Harshman, Ellen, 2007. "The Financial Services Modernization Act: Evolution or Revolution?," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 313-339.
  16. Robert Bichsel, 2006. "State-Owned Banks as Competition Enhancers, or the Grand Illusion," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 117-150, October.

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