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Non-interest income and total income stability


  • Rosie Smith
  • Christos Staikouras
  • Geoffrey Wood


Banks can differ markedly in their sources of income. Some focus on business lending, some on household lending, and some on fee-earning activities. Increasingly, however, most banks are diversifying into fee-earning activities. Such diversification is either justified (by the bank) or welcomed (by commentators), or both, as reducing the bank's exposure to risk. Diversification across various sources of earnings is welcomed for, it is claimed, diversification reduces risk. Whether it does of course depends on how independent of each other the various earnings sources are. Traditionally fee income has been very stable; but, also traditionally, it has been a small part of the earnings stream of most banks. Has non-interest income remained stable, or at least uncorrelated with interest income, as banks have increased its importance in their earnings? This paper examines the variability of interest and non-interest income, and their correlation, for the banking systems of EU countries for the years 1994-98. It is found that the increased importance of non-interest income did, for most but not all categories of bank, stabilise profits in the European banking industry in those years. It is not, however, invariably more stable than interest income.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosie Smith & Christos Staikouras & Geoffrey Wood, 2003. "Non-interest income and total income stability," Bank of England working papers 198, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:198

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ozili, Peterson K, 2017. "Non-performing loans and Financial Development: New Evidence," MPRA Paper 75964, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Lepetit, Laetitia & Nys, Emmanuelle & Rous, Philippe & Tarazi, Amine, 2008. "The expansion of services in European banking: Implications for loan pricing and interest margins," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 2325-2335, November.
    3. Adão, Bernardino & Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 2014. "Short and long interest rate targets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 95-107.
    4. Curi, Claudia & Lozano-Vivas, Ana & Zelenyuk, Valentin, 2015. "Foreign bank diversification and efficiency prior to and during the financial crisis: Does one business model fit all?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(S1), pages 22-35.
    5. Coffinet, J. & Lin, S. & Martin, C., 2009. "Stress testing French banks' income subcomponents," Working papers 242, Banque de France.
    6. Barry Williams & Laurie Prather, 2010. "Bank risk and return: the impact of bank non-interest income," International Journal of Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 6(3), pages 220-244, June.
    7. Bernardino Adão & Isabel Horta Correia & Pedro Teles, 2004. "Monetary Policy with Single Instrument Feedback Rules," Working Papers w200419, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    8. Goddard, John & Molyneux, Philip & Wilson, John O.S. & Tavakoli, Manouche, 2007. "European banking: An overview," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1911-1935, July.
    9. Li, Li & Zhang, Yu, 2013. "Are there diversification benefits of increasing noninterest income in the Chinese banking industry?," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 151-165.
    10. Emanuel Kohlscheen & Andrés Murcia Pabón & Juan Contreras, 2018. "Determinants of bank profitability in emerging markets," BIS Working Papers 686, Bank for International Settlements.
    11. Lepetit, Laetitia & Nys, Emmanuelle & Rous, Philippe & Tarazi, Amine, 2008. "Bank income structure and risk: An empirical analysis of European banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1452-1467, August.
    12. 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.
    13. Abdelaziz HAKIMI & Helmi HAMDI & Mouldi DJELASSI, 2012. "Modelling Non-Interest Income at Tunisian Banks," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 2(1), pages 88-99, March.
    14. Giovanni Ferri, 2016. "Regolamentazione bancaria: serve un cambio di approccio," ECONOMIA E DIRITTO DEL TERZIARIO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2016(3), pages 383-408.
    15. Vincenzo Chiorazzo & Carlo Milani & Francesca Salvini, 2008. "Income Diversification and Bank Performance: Evidence from Italian Banks," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 33(3), pages 181-203, June.
    16. Tennant, David & Sutherland, Richard, 2014. "What types of banks profit most from fees charged? A cross-country examination of bank-specific and country-level determinants," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 178-190.
    17. Roy Trivedi, Smita, 2015. "Banking Innovations and New Income Streams: Impact on Banks’ Performance," MPRA Paper 63678, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Nguyen, James, 2012. "The relationship between net interest margin and noninterest income using a system estimation approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 2429-2437.
    19. Aykut Ekinci, 2016. "The Effect of Credit and Market Risk on Bank Performance: Evidence from Turkey," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(2), pages 427-434.
    20. Williams, Barry, 2014. "Bank risk and national governance in Asia," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 10-26.
    21. Bernardino Adão & Isabel Horta Correia & Pedro Teles, 2004. "Monetary Policy with State Contingent Interest Rates," Working Papers w200418, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    22. Albert, Stéphane, 2015. "US bank holding companies: Structure of activities and performance through the cycles," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 253-269.

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