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Bank Consolidation and Consumer Loan Interest Rates

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  • Charles Kahn
  • George Pennacchi
  • Ben Sopranzetti

Abstract

The recent wave of bank mergers has raised concern with its effect on competition. This paper examines the influence of concentration and merger activity on consumer loan interest rates. It uses Bank Rate Monitor, Inc. survey data on loan rates quoted weekly by large commercial banks in ten major U.S. cities during the 1989 to 1997 period. The pricing behavior of banks is analyzed for two types of loans: new automobile loans and unsecured personal loans. Market concentration is found to have a positive and significant impact on the level of personal loans, but not automobile loans. Consistent with the exercise of market power, we find that personal loan rates rise in markets following a significant merger. However, this is a significant decrease in automobile loan rates charged by banks participating in within-market mergers, a finding consistent with economies of scale in the origination of automobile loans. The paper also tests for the existence of leader-follower relationships in loan pricing and finds that it is more widespread in markets for automobile loans. Interest rates on both types of loans respond asymmetrically to a change in equivalent maturity Treasury security rates, being more sensitive to a rise than a fall. In addition, personal loan rates are less responsive in more concentrated markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 01-14.

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Date of creation: Mar 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:01-14

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  13. Charles Kahn & George Pennacchi & Ben Sopranzetti, 1996. "Bank deposit rate clustering: theory and empirical evidence," Working Paper 9604, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  14. Loretta J. Mester & Anthony Saunders, 1990. "When does the prime rate change?," Working Papers 90-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  15. Philip E. Strahan & James Weston, 1996. "Small business lending and bank consolidation: is there cause for concern?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 2(Mar).
  16. Barry Scholnick, 1999. "Interest Rate Asymmetries in Long-Term Loan and Deposit Markets," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 5-26, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Dario Focarelli & Fabio Panetta, 2003. "Are Mergers Beneficial to Consumers? Evidence from the Market for Bank Deposits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1152-1172, September.
  2. Ahmad Bello Dogarawa, 2011. "Chronology of banking reforms in Nigeria: A survey of past and present theoretical and empirical literature," Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(4), pages 370-382, November.
  3. Ben Craig & Valeriya Dinger, 2009. "Bank Mergers and the Dynamics of Deposit Interest Rates," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 111-133, December.
  4. Robert M. Adams & Dean F. Amel, 2005. "The effects of local banking market structure on the banking-lending channel of monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-16, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Adams, Robert M. & Amel, Dean F., 2011. "Market structure and the pass-through of the federal funds rate," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1087-1096, May.
  6. 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.
  7. Sudhakar Kota & Saigeeta Kukunuru, 2011. "Inelasticity Of Emerging Economies To Financial Crisis," Journal of Global Business and Economics, Global Research Agency, vol. 3(1), pages 101-121, July.
  8. Kenneth A. Carow & Edward J. Kane, 2001. "Event-Study Evidence of the Value of Relaxing Longstanding Regulatory Restraints on Banks, 1970-2000," NBER Working Papers 8594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Fabio Panetta & Dario Focarelli, 2003. "Are Mergers Beneficial to Consumers? Evidence from the Italian Market for Bank Deposits," CEIS Research Paper 10, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.

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