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The Effects of Diversification on Banks´ Expected Returns


  • Dairo Estrada


  • Angela González Arbeláez


  • Javier Gutierréz Rueda



In financial theory, the optimal allocation of assets and its relationship withprofitability has been one of the main concerns; the question has always been ifbanks should focus or diversify their assets. In our case, we would like to answerthis question focusing in diversification of the loan portfolio, presenting a theoreticalmodel that considers the possible gains from diversification, while taking intoaccount the effects of monitoring. Additionally, we present empirical evidence onthis matter for the Colombian banking system. According to the model, we findthat once the banks have chosen its optimal level of monitoring, expected return isalways higher when the bank decides to focus. Additionally, the empirical resultssuggest that there are no possible gains form diversification in bank´s cost and that,on average, the effects of focusing the loan portfolio reduces bank´s return whileshowing positive effects of focusing on an specific sector.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000094:004991

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Dairo Estrada & Poldy Osorio, 2004. "Effects Of Financial Capital On Colombian Banking Efficiency," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 22(47), pages 162-201, December.
    3. Carletti, Elena & Cerasi, Vittoria & Daltung, Sonja, 2007. "Multiple-bank lending: Diversification and free-riding in monitoring," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 425-451, July.
    4. Winton, Andrew, 1997. "Competition among Financial Intermediaries When Diversification Matters," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 307-346, October.
    5. Ferrier, Gary D. & Lovell, C. A. Knox, 1990. "Measuring cost efficiency in banking : Econometric and linear programming evidence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 229-245.
    6. Clark, Jeffrey A, 1996. "Economic Cost, Scale Efficiency, and Competitive Viability in Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(3), pages 342-364, August.
    7. Cerasi, Vittoria & Daltung, Sonja, 2000. "The optimal size of a bank: Costs and benefits of diversification," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1701-1726, October.
    8. Edward I. Altman, 1968. "Financial Ratios, Discriminant Analysis And The Prediction Of Corporate Bankruptcy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(4), pages 589-609, September.
    9. 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.
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    11. 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.
    12. Kevin Stiroh, 2004. "Do Community Banks Benefit from Diversification?," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 135-160, April.
    13. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1993. "Market Liquidity and Performance Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 678-709, August.
    14. Berger, Allen N. & Hancock, Diana & Humphrey, David B., 1993. "Bank efficiency derived from the profit function," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 317-347, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Pérez-Reyna, "undated". "Una aproximación para analizar la estabilidad financiera por medio de un DSGE," Temas de Estabilidad Financiera 040, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.

    More about this item


    Diversification; Risk; Colombian Banking System.;

    JEL classification:

    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General

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