Does Diversification Improve the Performance of German Banks? Evidence from Individual Bank Loan Portfolios
AbstractShould banks be diversified or focused? Does diversification indeed lead to increased performance and therefore greater safety on the part of banks as traditional portfolio and banking theory would suggest? This paper investigates the link between banks’ profitability and their portfolio diversification across different industries, broader economic sectors and geographical regions. To explore this issue, we use a unique data set of the individual bank loan portfolios of 983 German banks for the period from 1996 to 2002. The overall evidence we provide shows that there are no large performance benefits associated with diversification since each type of diversification tends to reduce the banks’ returns. Additionally, we find that banks do not use diversification to operate at a constant level of risk-return efficiency, which implies that banks are not risk-return efficient. Moreover, we find that the impact of diversification strongly depends on the risk level. However, only for moderate risk levels and in the case of industrial diversification does diversification significantly improve the banks’ returns.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank) in its series Working Papers with number 110.
Date of creation: 09 Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Postal: Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Economic Studies Division, c/o Beate Hofbauer-Berlakovich, POB 61, A-1011 Vienna, Austria
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-02-12 (All new papers)
- NEP-FMK-2006-02-12 (Financial Markets)
- NEP-RMG-2006-02-12 (Risk Management)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kevin J. Stiroh, 2002.
"Diversification in banking: is noninterest income the answer?,"
154, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Stiroh, Kevin J, 2004. "Diversification in Banking: Is Noninterest Income the Answer?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(5), pages 853-82, October.
- Sherril Shaffer, 1997.
"The winner's curse in banking,"
97-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Iftekhar Hasan & Anthony Saunders & Viral V. Acharya, 2002.
"Should banks be diversified? Evidence from individual bank loan portfolios,"
BIS Working Papers
118, Bank for International Settlements.
- Viral V. Acharya & Iftekhar Hasan & Anthony Saunders, 2006. "Should Banks Be Diversified? Evidence from Individual Bank Loan Portfolios," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1355-1412, May.
- Claudia M. Buch & John C. Driscoll & Charlotte Ostergaard, 2004.
"Cross-border diversification in bank asset portfolios,"
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
2004-26, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Claudia M. Buch & John C. Driscoll & Charlotte Ostergaard, 2010. "Cross-Border Diversification in Bank Asset Portfolios," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 79-108, 03.
- Buch, Claudia M. & Driscoll, John C. & Ostergaard, Charlotte, 2005. "Cross-border diversification in bank asset portfolios," Working Paper Series 0429, European Central Bank.
- Claudia M. Buch & John C. Driscoll & Charlotte Ostergaard, 2004. "Cross-Border Diversification in Bank Asset Portfolios," Working Paper 2004/11, Norges Bank.
- John H. Boyd & Edward C. Prescott, 1985.
87, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Raghuram Rajan & Henri Servaes & Luigi Zingales, .
"The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment,"
CRSP working papers
357, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
- Raghuram Rajan & Henri Servaes & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 35-80, 02.
- Rajan, Raghuram G & Servaes, Henri & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1801, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Raghuram Rajan & Henri Servaes & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," NBER Working Papers 6368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Raghuram Rajan & Henry Servaes & Luigi Zingales, . "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," CRSP working papers 463, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
- Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
- Allen N. Berger & Robert De Young, 2001.
"The effects of geographic expansion on bank efficiency,"
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
2001-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Allen Berger & Robert DeYoung, 2001. "The Effects of Geographic Expansion on Bank Efficiency," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 163-184, April.
- Allen N. Berger & Robert DeYoung, 2000. "The effects of geographic expansion on bank efficiency," Working Paper Series WP-00-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
- DeLong, Gayle L., 2001. "Stockholder gains from focusing versus diversifying bank mergers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 221-252, February.
- Berger, Philip G & Ofek, Eli, 1996. " Bustup Takeovers of Value-Destroying Diversified Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1175-1200, September.
- Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 1996. "Safety in numbers? Geographic diversification and bank insolvency risk," Working Papers 96-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Denis, David J & Denis, Diane K & Sarin, Atulya, 1997. " Agency Problems, Equity Ownership, and Corporate Diversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 135-60, March.
- Dickler, Robert A. & Schalast, Christoph, 2006. "Distressed debt in Germany: What's next? Possible innovative exit strategies," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 73, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
- García-Herrero, Alicia & Vázquez, Francisco, 2013.
"International diversification gains and home bias in banking,"
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2560-2571.
- Alicia GarcÃa-Herrero & Francisco F. VÃ¡zquez, 2007. "International Diversification Gains and Home Bias in Banking," IMF Working Papers 07/281, International Monetary Fund.
- Busch, Ramona & Kick, Thomas, 2009. "Income diversification in the German banking industry," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2009,09, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
- Dairo Estrada & Angela González Arbeláez & Javier Gutierréz Rueda, 2008.
"The Effects of Diversification on Banks’ Expected Returns,"
BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA
004991, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
- Dairo Estrada & Angela González Arbelaéz & Javier Gutiérrez Rueda, . "The Effects of Diversification on Banks’ Expected Returns," Borradores de Economia 524, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Markus Knell and Helmut Stix).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.