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Diversification, Organization, and Efficiency: Evidence from Bank Holding Companies

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  • Peter G. Klein
  • Marc R. Saidenberg

Abstract

We use a portfolio-simulation technique to estimate the value added from diversification by bank holding companies. Using a sample of 412 multi-bank bank holding companies (MBHCs) from 1990 to 1994, we construct pro forma benchmark portfolios for each MBHC composed of shares of single banks, weighted to correspond to the MBHC's distribution of activities. We then compare the performance and characteristics of the MBHCs to that of their pro forma benchmarks. Diversification through the holding company structure does appear to bring certain benefits: the MBHCs hold less capital and engage in more lending, on average, then their pro forma benchmarks. However, these desirable characteristics do not translate into higher profits, implying some organizational inefficiencies inherent in the holding company structure. This suggests that banks should be allowed to realize the benefits of diversification without limiting them to a particular organizational form.

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Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 97-27.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:97-27

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  1. Saunders, Anthony & Strock, Elizabeth & Travlos, Nickolaos G, 1990. " Ownership Structure, Deregulation, and Bank Risk Taking," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 643-54, June.
  2. 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.).
  3. Loretta J. Mester, 1987. "Efficient production of financial services: scale and scope economies," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Jan, pages 15-25.
  4. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  5. Teece, David J., 1980. "Economies of scope and the scope of the enterprise," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 223-247, September.
  6. Jeffrey A. Clark, 1988. "Economies of scale and scope at depository financial institutions: a review of the literature," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Sep, pages 16-33.
  7. Berger, Allen N. & Humphrey, David B. & Pulley, Lawrence B., 1996. "Do consumers pay for one-stop banking? Evidence from an alternative revenue function," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(9), pages 1601-1621, November.
  8. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  9. Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Ritter, Jay R, 1983. "Innovation and Communication: Signalling with Partial Disclosure," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 331-46, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Paola Brighi & Valeria Venturelli, 2013. "The Effect Of Revenue And Geographic Diversification On Bank Performance," Centro Studi di Banca e Finanza (CEFIN) (Center for Studies in Banking and Finance) 13103, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, FacoltĂ  di Economia "Marco Biagi".
  2. Allen N. Berger & Rebecca S. Demsetz & Philip E. Strahan, 1998. "The consolidation of the financial services industry: causes, consequences, and implications for the future," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. 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.
  4. Mitchell Berlin, 1999. "Jack of all trades? Product diversification in nonfinancial firms," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue May, pages 15-29.
  5. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Joseph P. H. Fan & Lang, Larry H. P., 1999. "Corporate diversification in East Asia : the role of ultimate ownership and group affiliation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2089, The World Bank.
  6. Claessens, Stijn & Klingebiel, Daniela, 1999. "Alternative frameworks for providing financial services," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2189, The World Bank.

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