Paying for Banking Services: What Determines the Fees?
We analyze a unique dataset to test an empirical model of retail bank fee determinants in five Central European countries. Due to the data structure we can cope with heterogeneity and cross-subsidization by employing a representative fee index instead of using variables associated with individual fees. We find support for the Structure-Conduct-Performance hypothesis about the effect of industry concentration, the importance of differences in reliance on cashless payments, and differences in the labor intensity and technology level of bank operations. We also show that cross-country differences in retail bank fees can be explained by fundamental economic factors.
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