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Lost Diversity: Business Lending in the Centralised Banking System of the UK


  • Franz Flögel
  • Stefan Gärtner


Based on the classification of decentralised and centralised banking, this paper investigates diversity in business lending in the UK. Using expert interviews and desk research, the distance between lenders and SMEs in credit decisions for the identified types of lenders is classified. Due to the early disappearance of regional and dual bottom-line banks, today hardly any short-distance lender remains in the UK. Three different approaches have been identified to re-introduce decentralised lending to the island, though running regional banks is challenging in times of low interest rates and tightened bank regulation. Aufbauend auf der Klassifikation vom dezentralen und zentralen Banking untersucht dieser Beitrag die Diversität in der Unternehmenskreditvergabe des Vereinigten Königreichs. Anhand von Experteninterviews und Literaturrecherche wurde die Distanz in den Kreditvergabeentscheidungen an KMU für verschiedene Typen von Banken und anderen Finanzintermediären klassifiziert. Aufgrund des frühen Ausscheidens von regionalen und nicht rein profitorientierten Banken (Sparkassen und Genossenschaftsbanken) existieren heute kaum noch Finanzintermediäre, die Kredite dezentral, das heißt in räumlicher Nähe zum KMU-Kunden, vergeben. Drei unterschiedliche Ansätze wurden identifiziert, wie dezentrale Kreditvergabe auf der Insel wiedereingeführt werden kann. Aufgrund der Niedrigzinsphase und der verschärften Bankenregulierung ist es jedoch gegenwärtig herausfordernd, regionale Banken wirtschaftlich zu betreiben.

Suggested Citation

  • Franz Flögel & Stefan Gärtner, 2018. "Lost Diversity: Business Lending in the Centralised Banking System of the UK," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 87(4), pages 67-86.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:87-4-6
    DOI: 10.3790/vjh.87.4.67

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    Diversity in banking; SME finance in the UK; decentralised versus centralised banking; functional and operational distance;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)


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