IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Being a foreigner among domestic banks: Asset or liability?

  • Claessens, Stijn
  • van Horen, Neeltje

Do foreign banks perform better than domestic banks? The existing literature has come up with different answers, in part as data coverage has varied and often been limited. Studying the performance of foreign relative to domestic banks in many countries between 1999 and 2006, we find that the answer importantly depends on a number of factors. Specifically, foreign banks tend to perform better when from a high income country and when regulation in the host country is relatively weak. They also perform better when larger and having a bigger market share. Foreign banks from home countries with the same language and similar regulation as the host country also perform better. Geographical closeness, however, does not improve performance. These findings show that it is important to control for heterogeneity among foreign banks when studying their performance and help reconcile some contradictory results found in the literature.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

Volume (Year): 36 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 1276-1290

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:5:p:1276-1290
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2011.11.020
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Bonin, John P. & Hasan, Iftekhar & Wachtel, Paul, 2004. "Bank performance, efficiency and ownership in transition countries," BOFIT Discussion Papers 7/2004, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  2. Berger, Allen N. & Klapper, Leora F. & Udell, Gregory F., 2001. "The ability of banks to lend to informationally opaque small businesses," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 2127-2167, December.
  3. Luc Laeven & Ross Levine, 2008. "Complex Ownership Structures and Corporate Valuations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 579-604, April.
  4. Clarke, George & Cull, Robert & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad & Sanchez, Susana M., 2001. "Foreign bank entry - experience, implications for developing countries, and agenda for further research," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2698, The World Bank.
  5. 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.
  6. Berger, Allen N. & Klapper, Leora F. & Turk-Ariss, Rima, 2008. "Bank competition and financial stability," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4696, The World Bank.
  7. Ricardo Correa, 2009. "Cross-Border Bank Acquisitions: Is there a Performance Effect?," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 36(2), pages 169-197, December.
  8. Alejandro Micco & Ugo Panizza & Monica Yañez, 2005. "Bank Ownership and Performance Does Politics Matter?," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 356, Central Bank of Chile.
  9. Maudos, Joaquin & Fernandez de Guevara, Juan, 2003. "Factors Explaining the Interest Margin in the Banking Sectors of the European Union," MPRA Paper 15252, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Stijn Claessens & Neeltje Horen, 2014. "Location Decisions of Foreign Banks and Competitor Remoteness," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(1), pages 145-170, 02.
  11. Boyd, John H. & Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 211-232, April.
  12. Enrica Detragiache & Poonam Gupta, 2004. "Foreign Banks in Emerging Market Crises; Evidence From Malaysia," IMF Working Papers 04/129, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Hasan, Iftekhar & Marton, Katherin, 2000. "Development and efficiency of the banking sector in a transitional economy : Hungarian experience," BOFIT Discussion Papers 7/2000, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  14. Havrylchyk, Olena, 2006. "Efficiency of the Polish banking industry: Foreign versus domestic banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1975-1996, July.
  15. Allen N. Berger & Robert DeYoung, 2002. "Technological progress and the geographic expansion of the banking industry," Working Paper Series WP-02-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  16. Robert Hauswald & Robert Marquez, 2006. "Competition and Strategic Information Acquisition in Credit Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(3), pages 967-1000.
  17. Evan Kraft & Richard Hofler & James Payne, 2006. "Privatization, foreign bank entry and bank efficiency in Croatia: a Fourier-flexible function stochastic cost frontier analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(17), pages 2075-2088.
  18. Matthews, Kent & Ismail, Mahadzir, 2006. "Efficiency and Productivity Growth of Domestic and Foreign Commercial Banks in Malaysia," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2006/2, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  19. Ewa M. Nikiel & Timothy P. Opiela, 2002. "Customer Type And Bank Efficiency In Poland: Implications For Emerging Market Banking," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(3), pages 255-271, 07.
  20. Berger, Allen N. & Clarke, George R. G. & Cull, Robert & Klapper, Leora & Udell, Gregory F., 2005. "Corporate governance and bank performance : a joint analysis of the static, selection, and dynamic effects of domestic, foreign, and state ownership," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3632, The World Bank.
  21. Saovanee Chantapong, 2005. "Comparative Study of Domestic and Foreign Bank Performance in Thailand: The Regression Analysis," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 63-83, 03.
  22. Boot, Arnoud W A & Thakor, Anjan V, 1997. "Financial System Architecture," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(3), pages 693-733.
  23. Berger, Allen N. & Mester, Loretta J., 1997. "Inside the black box: What explains differences in the efficiencies of financial institutions?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 895-947, July.
  24. Berger, Allen N. & Hasan, Iftekhar & Zhou, Mingming, 2009. "Bank ownership and efficiency in China: What will happen in the world's largest nation?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 113-130, January.
  25. Majnoni, Giovanni & Shankar, Rashmi & Varhegyi, Eva, 2003. "The dynamics of foreign bank ownership - evidence from Hungary," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3114, The World Bank.
  26. Hans Degryse & Steven Ongena, 2002. "Distance, Lending Relationships, and Competition," CSEF Working Papers 80, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  27. Allen Berger & Robert DeYoung, 2001. "The Effects of Geographic Expansion on Bank Efficiency," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 19(2), pages 163-184, April.
  28. Vennet, Rudi Vander, 1996. "The effect of mergers and acquisitions on the efficiency and profitability of EC credit institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(9), pages 1531-1558, November.
  29. Barajas, Adolfo & Steiner, Roberto & Salazar, Natalia, 2000. "The impact of liberalization and foreign investment in Colombia's financial sector," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 157-196, October.
  30. Linda Goldberg & B. Gerard Dages & Daniel Kinney, 2000. "Foreign and Domestic Bank Participation in Emerging Markets: Lessons from Mexico and Argentina," NBER Working Papers 7714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Williams, Barry, 2004. "Foreign bank entry, deregulation and bank efficiency: Lessons from the Australian experience," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1775-1799, July.
  32. David A. Grigorian & Vlad Manole, 2002. "Determinants of Commercial Bank Performance in Transition; An Application of Data Envelopment Analysis," IMF Working Papers 02/146, International Monetary Fund.
  33. Olena Havrylchyk & Emilia Jurzyk, 2005. "Profitability of Foreign and Domestic Banks in Central and Eastern Europe : Does the Mode of Entry Matter?," Working Papers 2005-21, CEPII research center.
  34. Jennifer S. Crystal & B. Gerard Dages & Linda S. Goldberg, 2001. "Does foreign ownership contribute to sounder banks in emerging markets? the Latin American experience," Staff Reports 137, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  35. Claessens, Stijn & Laeven, Luc, 2003. "What drives bank competition? some international evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3113, The World Bank.
  36. Buch, Claudia M, 2003. " Information or Regulation: What Drives the International Activities of Commercial Banks?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 851-69, December.
  37. H. Semih Yildirim & George Philippatos, 2007. "Efficiency of Banks: Recent Evidence from the Transition Economies of Europe, 1993-2000," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 123-143.
  38. Grosse, Robert & Goldberg, Lawrence G., 1991. "Foreign bank activity in the United States: An analysis by country of origin," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1093-1112, December.
  39. DeYoung, Robert & Nolle, Daniel E, 1996. "Foreign-Owned Banks in the United States: Earning Market Share or Buying It?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 622-36, November.
  40. Peek, Joe & Rosengren, Eric S. & Kasirye, Faith, 1999. "The poor performance of foreign bank subsidiaries: Were the problems acquired or created?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 579-604, February.
  41. Arturo Galindo & Alejandro Micco & César Manuel Serra, 2003. "Better the Devil that You Know: Evidence on Entry Costs Faced by Foreign Banks," Research Department Publications 4313, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  42. Mahajan, Arvind & Rangan, Nanda & Zardkoohi, Asghar, 1996. "Cost structures in multinational and domestic banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 283-306, March.
  43. Laurent Weill, 2003. "Banking efficiency in transition economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(3), pages 569-592, 09.
  44. DeLong, Gayle L. & Buch, Claudia M., 2001. "Cross-Border Bank Mergers: What Lures the Rare Animal?," Kiel Working Papers 1070, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  45. Atif Mian, 2006. "Distance Constraints: The Limits of Foreign Lending in Poor Economies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1465-1505, 06.
  46. Miller, Stewart R. & Richards, Malika, 2002. "Liability of foreignness and membership in a regional economic group: Analysis of the European Union," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 323-337.
  47. Joshua D. Coval & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 2001. "The Geography of Investment: Informed Trading and Asset Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 811-841, August.
  48. Panzar, John C & Rosse, James N, 1987. "Testing for "Monopoly" Equilibrium," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 443-56, June.
  49. C. Edward Chang & Iftekhar Hasan & William Hunter, 1998. "Efficiency of multinational banks: an empirical investigation," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(6), pages 689-696.
  50. Fabian Valencia & Luc Laeven, 2008. "Systemic Banking Crises; A New Database," IMF Working Papers 08/224, International Monetary Fund.
  51. Allen N. Berger & Robert DeYoung & Hesna Genay & Gregory F. Udell, 1999. "Globalization of financial institutions: evidence from cross-border banking performance," Working Paper Series WP-99-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  52. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
  53. Igor Jemric & Boris Vujcic, 2002. "Efficiency of Banks in Croatia: A DEA Approach*," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 44(2-3), pages 169-193, September.
  54. Jeremy C. Stein, 2002. "Information Production and Capital Allocation: Decentralized versus Hierarchical Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 1891-1921, October.
  55. Claessens, Stijn & Demirguc-Kunt, Asl[iota] & Huizinga, Harry, 2001. "How does foreign entry affect domestic banking markets?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 891-911, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:5:p:1276-1290. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.