IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Does Diversification Improve the Performance of German Banks? Evidence from Individual Bank Loan Portfolios

  • Evelyn Hayden

    ()

  • Daniel Porath

    ()

  • Natalja Westernhagen

    ()

Should banks be diversified or focused? Does diversification indeed lead to enhanced performance and, therefore, greater safety for banks, as traditional portfolio and banking theory would suggest? This paper investigates the link between banks? profitability (ROA) and their portfolio diversification across different industries, broader economic sectors and geographical regions measured by the Herfindahl Index. To explore this issue, we use a unique data set of the individual bank loan portfolios of 983 German banks for the period from 1996 to 2002. The overall evidence we provide shows that there are no large performance benefits associated with diversification since each type of diversification tends to reduce the banks? returns. Moreover, we find that the impact of diversification depends strongly on the risk level. However, it is only for moderate risk levels and in the case of industrial diversification that diversification significantly improves the banks? returns.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10693-007-0017-0
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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 Springer in its journal Journal of Financial Services Research.

Volume (Year): 32 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 123-140

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:kap:jfsres:v:32:y:2007:i:3:p:123-140
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102934

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. Fecht, Falko & Huang, Kevin & Martin, Antoine, 2005. "Financial intermediaries, markets and growth," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,03, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  2. von Kalckreuth, Ulf, 2005. "A "wreckers theory" of financial distress," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,40, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Denis, David J & Denis, Diane K & Sarin, Atulya, 1997. " Agency Problems, Equity Ownership, and Corporate Diversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 135-60, March.
  4. Campbell, John Y. & Hilscher, Jens & Szilagyi, Jan, 2005. "In search of distress risk," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,27, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  5. Koetter, M. & Bos, J.W.B. & Heid, F. & Kolari, J.W. & Kool, C.J.M. & Porath, D., 2007. "Accounting for distress in bank mergers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 3200-3217, October.
  6. Buch, Claudia M. & Driscoll, John C. & Ostergaard, Charlotte, 2005. "Cross-border diversification in bank asset portfolios," Working Paper Series 0429, European Central Bank.
  7. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2002. "Diversification in banking: is noninterest income the answer?," Staff Reports 154, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Rajan, Raghuram G & Servaes, Henri & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1801, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  10. Shaffer, Sherrill, 1998. "The Winner's Curse in Banking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 359-392, October.
  11. Iftekhar Hasan & Anthony Saunders & Viral V. Acharya, 2002. "Should banks be diversified? Evidence from individual bank loan portfolios," BIS Working Papers 118, Bank for International Settlements.
  12. Allen N. Berger & Robert De Young, 2001. "The effects of geographic expansion on bank efficiency," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 1996. "Safety in numbers? Geographic diversification and bank insolvency risk," Working Papers 96-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  14. Boyd, John H. & Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 211-232, April.
  15. 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.
  16. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  17. Berger, Philip G & Ofek, Eli, 1996. " Bustup Takeovers of Value-Destroying Diversified Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1175-1200, September.
  18. Slacalek, Jirka & Fritsche, Ulrich & Dovern, Jonas & Döpke, Jörg, 2005. "European inflation expectations dynamics," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,37, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  19. DeLong, Gayle L., 2001. "Stockholder gains from focusing versus diversifying bank mergers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 221-252, February.
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:kap:jfsres:v:32:y:2007:i:3:p:123-140. 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: (Guenther Eichhorn)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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.