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Competition and financial stability in European cooperative banks

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  • Fiordelisi, Franco
  • Mare, Davide Salvatore

Abstract

Cooperative banks are a driving force for socially committed business at the local level, accounting for around one fifth of the European Union (EU) bank deposits and loans. Despite their importance, little is known about the relationship between bank stability and competition for these small credit institutions. Does competition affect the stability of cooperative banks? Does the financial stability of banks increase/decrease when competition is higher? We assess the dynamic relationship between competition and bank soundness (both in the short and long run) among European cooperative banks between 1998 and 2009. We obtain three main results. First, we provide evidence in line with the competition-stability view proposed by Boyd and De Nicolò (2005). Bank market power negatively “Granger-causes” banks' soundness, meaning that there is a positive relationship between competition and stability. Second, we find that this fundamental relationship does not change during the 2007–2009 financial crisis. Third, we show that increased homogeneity in the cooperative banking sector positively affects bank soundness. Our findings have important policy implications for designing and implementing regulations that enhance the overall stability of the financial system and in particular of the cooperative banking sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Fiordelisi, Franco & Mare, Davide Salvatore, 2014. "Competition and financial stability in European cooperative banks," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-16.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:45:y:2014:i:c:p:1-16
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jimonfin.2014.02.008
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    Keywords

    Bank soundness; Cooperative banks; Competition; Financial stability;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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