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Factors explaining the interest margin in the banking sectors of the European Union

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  • Maudos, Joaquin
  • Fernandez de Guevara, Juan

Abstract

This study analyses the interest margin in the principal European banking sectors (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain) in the period 1993-2000 using a panel of 15,888 observations, identifying the fundamental elements affecting this margin. Our starting point is the methodology developed in the original study by Ho and Saunders (1981) and later extensions, but widened to take banks’ operating costs explicitly into account. Also, unlike the usual practice in the literature, a direct measure of the degree of competition (Lerner index) in the different markets is used. The results show that the fall of margins in the European banking system is compatible with a relaxation of the competitive conditions (increase in market power and concentration), as this effect has been counteracted by a reduction of interest rate risk, credit risk, and operating costs.
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Suggested Citation

  • Maudos, Joaquin & Fernandez de Guevara, Juan, 2004. "Factors explaining the interest margin in the banking sectors of the European Union," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 2259-2281, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:28:y:2004:i:9:p:2259-2281
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francisco Pérez García & Joaquín Maudos Villarroya, 2001. "Competencia Versus Poder De Monopolio En La Banca Española," Working Papers. Serie EC 2001-09, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    2. Lerner, Eugene M., 1981. "Discussion: The Determinants of Bank Interest Margins: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(04), pages 601-602, November.
    3. Bikker, Jacob A. & Haaf, Katharina, 2002. "Competition, concentration and their relationship: An empirical analysis of the banking industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 2191-2214, November.
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    5. De Bandt, Olivier & Davis, E. Philip, 2000. "Competition, contestability and market structure in European banking sectors on the eve of EMU," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1045-1066, June.
    6. Allen, Linda, 1988. "The Determinants of Bank Interest Margins: A Note," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(02), pages 231-235, June.
    7. Saunders, Anthony & Schumacher, Liliana, 2000. "The determinants of bank interest rate margins: an international study," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 813-832, December.
    8. Xavier Freixas & Jean-Charles Rochet, 1997. "Microeconomics of Banking," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061937, January.
    9. Nicola Cetorelli & Paolo Angelini, 1999. "Bank competition and regulatory reform: the case of the Italian banking industry," Working Paper Series WP-99-32, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    10. Shaffer, Sherrill, 1993. "A Test of Competition in Canadian Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(1), pages 49-61, February.
    11. Beighley, H Prescott & McCall, Alan S, 1975. "Market Power and Structure and Commercial Bank Installment Lending," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 7(4), pages 449-467, November.
    12. Angbazo, Lazarus, 1997. "Commercial bank net interest margins, default risk, interest-rate risk, and off-balance sheet banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 55-87, January.
    13. Ribon, S. & Yosha, O., 1999. "Financial Liberalization and Competition in Banking: an Empirical Investigation," Papers 23-99, Tel Aviv.
    14. Ho, Thomas S. Y. & Saunders, Anthony, 1981. "The Determinants of Bank Interest Margins: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(04), pages 581-600, November.
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    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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