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Are Canadian Banks Efficient? A Canada--U.S. Comparison

Author

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  • Jason Allen
  • Walter Engert
  • Ying Liu

Abstract

The authors compare the efficiency of Canada's largest banks with U.S. commercial banks over the past 20 years. Efficiency is measured in three ways. First, the authors study key performance ratios, and find that Canadian banks are as productive as U.S. banks. Second, they investigate whether there are economies of scale in the production functions of Canadian banks and broadly comparable U.S. bank-holding companies (BHCs). They find larger economies of scale for Canadian banks than for the U.S. BHCs, which suggests that Canadian banks are less efficient in terms of scale, and have more to gain in terms of efficiency benefits from becoming larger. Third, the authors measure cost-inefficiency in Canadian banks and in U.S. BHCs relative to the domestic efficient frontier in each country (the domestic best-practice institution). They find that Canadian banks are closer to the domestic efficient frontier than are the U.S. BHCs. Canadian banks have also moved closer to the domestic efficient frontier than have the U.S. BHCs over time. Finally, the authors examine the dispersion in cost-inefficiency found in Canadian banks and attribute some of the dispersion to differences in information and communication technology investment. Comparisons are made with the U.S. BHC experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Allen & Walter Engert & Ying Liu, 2006. "Are Canadian Banks Efficient? A Canada--U.S. Comparison," Staff Working Papers 06-33, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:06-33
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Miguel SARMIENTOÕ & Andrés CEPEDA & Hernando MUTIS & Juan F. PÉREZ, 2013. "Nueva Evidencia sobre la Eficiencia de la Banca," ARCHIVOS DE ECONOMÍA 010705, DEPARTAMENTO NACIONAL DE PLANEACIÓN.
    2. Hossein Karimi Hosnijeh & Robabeh Jaberi, 2009. "The Impacts of Technical Changes on Banking Economic Indices, Case Study of Iran," Iranian Economic Review, Economics faculty of Tehran university, vol. 14(2), pages 97-111, fall.
    3. Dong Xiang & Abul Shamsuddin & Andrew C Worthington, 2011. "A comparative technical, cost and profit efficiency analysis of Australian, Canadian and UK banks: Feasible efficiency improvements in the context of controllable and uncontrollable factors," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:201119, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
    4. Robert McKeown, 2017. "Costs, size and returns to scale among Canadian and U.S. commercial banks," Working Papers 1382, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    5. Robert McKeown, 2017. "Where are the economies of scale in Canadian banking?," Working Papers 1380, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    6. Richard Dion & Robert Fay, 2008. "Understanding Productivity: A Review of Recent Technical Research," Discussion Papers 08-3, Bank of Canada.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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