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The return to retail and the performance of US banks

  • Hirtle, Beverly J.
  • Stiroh, Kevin J.

The U.S. banking industry is experiencing a renewed focus on retail banking, a trend often attributed to the stability and profitability of retail activities. This paper examines the impact of banks' retail intensity on performance from 1997 to 2004 by developing three complementary definitions of retail intensity (retail loan share, retail deposit share, and branches per dollar of assets) and comparing these measures with both equity market and accounting measures of performance. We find that an increased focus on retail banking across U.S. banks is linked to significantly lower equity market and accounting returns for all banks but lower volatility for only the largest banking companies. We conclude that retail banking may be a relatively stable activity, but it is also a low-return one.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 31 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 1101-1133

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:31:y:2007:i:4:p:1101-1133
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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  1. Slovin, Myron B & Sushka, Marie E & Polonchek, John A, 1993. " The Value of Bank Durability: Borrowers as Bank Stakeholders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 247-66, March.
  2. Beverly Hirtle & Christopher Metli, 2004. "The evolution of U.S. bank branch networks: growth, consolidation, and strategy," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 10(Jul).
  3. J. David Cummins & Richard D. Phillips & Stephen D. Smith, 1998. "The rise of risk management," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 1, pages 30-40.
  4. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2002. "Diversification in banking: is noninterest income the answer?," Staff Reports 154, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  5. Kenneth A. Froot & Jeremy C. Stein, 1996. "Risk Management, Capital Budgeting and Capital Structure Policy for Financial Institutions: An Integrated Approach," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-28, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
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  7. Demsetz, Rebecca S & Strahan, Philip E, 1997. "Diversification, Size, and Risk at Bank Holding Companies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 300-313, August.
  8. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-70, May.
  9. Kenneth A. Froot & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1992. "Risk Management: Coordinating Corporate Investment and Financing Policies," NBER Working Papers 4084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stiroh, Kevin J. & Rumble, Adrienne, 2006. "The dark side of diversification: The case of US financial holding companies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 2131-2161, August.
  11. Stiroh, Kevin J., 2006. "A Portfolio View of Banking with Interest and Noninterest Activities," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1351-1361, August.
  12. Houston, Joel & James, Christopher & Marcus, David, 1997. "Capital market frictions and the role of internal capital markets in banking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 135-164, November.
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