IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/jfsres/v32y2007i3p123-140.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

Author

Listed:
  • Evelyn Hayden

    ()

  • Daniel Porath

    ()

  • Natalja Westernhagen

    ()

Abstract

Should banks be diversified or focused? Does diversification indeed lead to increased performance and therefore greater safety on the part of banks as traditional portfolio and banking theory would suggest? This paper investigates the link between banks’ profitability and their portfolio diversification across different industries, broader economic sectors and geographical regions. 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. Additionally, we find that banks do not use diversification to operate at a constant level of risk-return efficiency, which implies that banks are not risk-return efficient. Moreover, we find that the impact of diversification strongly depends on the risk level. However, only for moderate risk levels and in the case of industrial diversification does diversification significantly improve the banks’ returns.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Evelyn Hayden & Daniel Porath & Natalja Westernhagen, 2007. "Does Diversification Improve the Performance of German Banks? Evidence from Individual Bank Loan Portfolios," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 32(3), pages 123-140, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jfsres:v:32:y:2007:i:3:p:123-140
    DOI: 10.1007/s10693-007-0017-0
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    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 below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. John Y. Campbell & Jens Hilscher & Jan Szilagyi, 2008. "In Search of Distress Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(6), pages 2899-2939, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Stiroh, Kevin J, 2004. "Diversification in Banking: Is Noninterest Income the Answer?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(5), pages 853-882, October.
    5. Claudia M. Buch & John C. Driscoll & Charlotte Ostergaard, 2010. "Cross-Border Diversification in Bank Asset Portfolios," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 79-108, March.
    6. Slacalek, Jirka & Fritsche, Ulrich & Dovern, Jonas & Döpke, Jörg, 2005. "European inflation expectations dynamics," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,37, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    7. Falko Fecht & Kevin X. D. Huang & Antoine Martin, 2008. "Financial Intermediaries, Markets, and Growth," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(4), pages 701-720, June.
    8. Boyd, John H. & Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 211-232, April.
    9. Raghuram Rajan & Henri Servaes & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 35-80, February.
    10. 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.
    11. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
    12. 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.
    13. Viral V. Acharya & Iftekhar Hasan & Anthony Saunders, 2006. "Should Banks Be Diversified? Evidence from Individual Bank Loan Portfolios," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1355-1412, May.
    14. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    15. DeLong, Gayle L., 2001. "Stockholder gains from focusing versus diversifying bank mergers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 221-252, February.
    16. Döpke, Jörg & Funke, Michael & Holly, Sean & Weber, Sebastian, 2005. "The cross-sectional dynamics of German business cycles: a bird's eye view," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,23, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    17. Shaffer, Sherrill, 1998. "The Winner's Curse in Banking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 359-392, October.
    18. 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 135-160, March.
    19. von Kalckreuth, Ulf, 2005. "A "wreckers theory" of financial distress," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,40, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    20. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 1996. "Safety in numbers? Geographic diversification and bank insolvency risk," Proceedings 504, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Florian Leon, 2017. "Implications of loan portfolio concentration in Cambodia," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(1), pages 282-296.
    2. Jahn, Nadya & Memmel, Christoph & Pfingsten, Andreas, 2013. "Banks' concentration versus diversification in the loan portfolio: New evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers 53/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    3. Dairo Estrada & Angela González Arbeláez & Javier Gutierréz Rueda, 2008. "The Effects of Diversification on Banks´ Expected Returns," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 004991, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    4. Ongena, Steven & Tümer-Alkan, Günseli & von Westernhagen, Natalja, 2015. "Do exposures to sagging real estate, subprime or conduits abroad lead to contraction and flight to quality in bank lending at home?," Discussion Papers 09/2015, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    5. Dickler, Robert A. & Schalast, Christoph, 2006. "Distressed debt in Germany: What's next? Possible innovative exit strategies," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 73, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    6. Alejandra Anastasi & Ricardo Bebczuk & Pedro Elosegui & Máximo Sangiácomo, 2008. "Productive, Geographic and Debtor Diversification and Its Effect on the Quality of the Credit Portfolio in Argentina," BCRA Working Paper Series 200836, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department.
    7. Tabak, Benjamin M. & Fazio, Dimas M. & Cajueiro, Daniel O., 2011. "The effects of loan portfolio concentration on Brazilian banks' return and risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 3065-3076, November.
    8. Duijm, Patty & Schoenmaker, Dirk, 2017. "European Banks Straddling Borders: Risky or Rewarding?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12159, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Busch, Ramona & Kick, Thomas, 2009. "Income diversification in the German banking industry," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2009,09, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    10. Beck, Thorsten & De Jonghe, Olivier, 2013. "Lending concentration, bank performance and systemic risk : exploring cross-country variation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6604, The World Bank.
    11. Alejandra Anastasi & Ricardo Bebczuk & Pedro Elosegui & Máximo Sangiácomo, 2009. "Productive, Geographical and Clientele Diversification of Banks, and its Effect on the Loan Portfolio Performance in Argentina," Ensayos Económicos, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, vol. 1(56), pages 7-39, October -.
    12. Sarath Delpachitra & Laurence Lester, 2013. "Non-Interest Income: Are Australian Banks Moving Away from their Traditional Businesses?," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 190-199, June.
    13. García-Herrero, Alicia & Vázquez, Francisco, 2013. "International diversification gains and home bias in banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2560-2571.
    14. Nadya Jahn & Christoph Memmel & Andreas Pfingsten, 2016. "Banks’ Specialization versus Diversification in the Loan Portfolio," Schmalenbach Business Review, Springer;Schmalenbach-Gesellschaft, vol. 17(1), pages 25-48, April.
    15. repec:bla:ausecp:v:55:y:2016:i:4:p:345-367 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Bednarek, Peter & Dinger, Valeriya & von Westernhagen, Natalja, 2015. "Fundamentals matter: Idiosyncratic shocks and interbank relations," Discussion Papers 44/2015, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    17. repec:spr:fininn:v:3:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40854-017-0069-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Dirk Schoenmaker & Wolf Wagner, 2013. "Cross-Border Banking in Europe and Financial Stability," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 1-22, February.
    19. Claudia M. Buch & Katja Neugebauer, 2009. "Diversification of Banks' International Portfolios: Evidence and Policy Lessons," Working Paper / FINESS 2.4, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    20. Line Drapeau & Claudia Champagne, 2015. "Do Syndicated Loans Influence Systemic Risk? An Empirical Analysis of the Canadian Syndicated Loan Market," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 5, pages 22-41, November.
    21. Goddard, John & McKillop, Donal & Wilson, John O.S., 2008. "The diversification and financial performance of US credit unions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1836-1849, September.
    22. repec:diw:diwfin:diwfin02040 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Fang, Yiwei & van Lelyveld, Iman, 2014. "Geographic diversification in banking," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 172-181.
    24. Mariarosa Borroni & Simone Rossi, 2017. "Does revenue diversification still matter in banking? Evidence from some European countries," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali dises1723, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    25. Beck, Thorsten & De Jonghe, Olivier & Mulier, Klaas, 2017. "Bank sectoral concentration and (systemic) risk: Evidence from a worldwide sample of banks," CEPR Discussion Papers 12009, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Focus; diversification; monitoring; bank returns; bank risk; G21; G28; G32;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.