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Diversification and the banks' risk-return-characteristics: evidence from loan portfolios of German banks

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Author Info

  • Behr, Andreas
  • Kamp, Andreas
  • Memmel, Christoph
  • Pfingsten, Andreas

Abstract

Banks face a tradeoff between diversifying and focusing their loan portfolio. In this paper we carry out an empirical study for the German market to shed light on the question whether or not the benefits of risk sharing outweigh those of specialization. We use data from the Bundesbank's quarterly borrowers statistic to determine the degree of diversification in the banks' loan portfolios and combine this data with the banks' balance sheets and audit reports. The unique database comprises data from all German banks during the period from 1993 to 2003. Our main results can be summarized in three statements: i) Specialized banks have a slightly higher return than diversified banks. ii) Specialized banks have lower relative loan loss provisions and lower shares of non-performing loans, iii) However, the standard deviations of the loan loss provision ratio and the non-performing loan ratio are lower for diversified banks. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies with number 2007,05.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp2:5576

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Related research

Keywords: bank lending; loan portfolio; portfolio theory; diversification; riskreturn analysis;

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Cited by:
  1. Kyle Moore & Chen Zhou, 2012. "Identifying systemically important financial institutions: size and other determinants," DNB Working Papers 347, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  2. Jahn, Nadya & Kick, Thomas, 2012. "Early warning indicators for the German banking system: A macroprudential analysis," Discussion Papers 27/2012, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Jahn, Nadya & Memmel, Christoph & Pfingsten, Andreas, 2013. "Banks' concentration versus diversification in the loan portfolio: New evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers 53/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  4. Memmel, Christoph & Gündüz, Yalin & Raupach, Peter, 2012. "The common drivers of default risk," Discussion Papers 36/2012, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  5. Meslier, Céline & Tacneng, Ruth & Tarazi, Amine, 2014. "Is bank income diversification beneficial? Evidence from an emerging economy," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 97-126.
  6. Sawada, Michiru, 2011. "How does the stock market value bank diversification? Empirical evidence from Japanese banks," MPRA Paper 45852, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2012.
  7. 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.
  8. Andrew C. Worthington, 2009. "Household Asset Portfolio Diversification: Evidence from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:200908, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
  9. Gann, Philipp & Kretzschmar, Anne & Rudolph, Bernd, 2010. "Determinanten der Eigenkapitalrendite von Sparkassen," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 11786, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.

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