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Interest margins and bank regulation in Central America and the Caribbean

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  • Anthony Birchwood
  • Michael Brei
  • Dorian Noel

Abstract

This paper examines empirically the determinants of bank interest margins in Central America and the Caribbean over the period 1998-2014. A particular focus is set on the impact of differences in the regulatory environment and market structure across countries in explaining the interest margins of individual banks. Our results suggest that bank market power, cost inefficiency, credit risk, liquid asset holdings, and interest rate risk increase the margin between loan and deposit rates, while increased income diversification and GDP growth are associated with lower loan-deposit spreads. When considering information on banking regulation, we find strong evidence to support our main hypothesis that improvements in market quality and liberalization have a significant effect on interest margins. More specifically, reductions in entry requirements to banking, higher involvement of foreign banks, and increased financial statement transparency are associated with significant reductions in interest margins.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony Birchwood & Michael Brei & Dorian Noel, 2016. "Interest margins and bank regulation in Central America and the Caribbean," EconomiX Working Papers 2016-33, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
  • Handle: RePEc:drm:wpaper:2016-33
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    3. Nimrod Segev & Sigal Ribon & Michael Kahn & Jakob De Haan, 2021. "Low Interest Rates and Banks' Interest Margins: Does Deposit Market Concentration Matter?," Bank of Israel Working Papers 2021.16, Bank of Israel.
    4. Brei, Michael & Jacolin, Luc & Noah, Alphonse, 2020. "Credit risk and bank competition in Sub-Saharan Africa," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C).
    5. Noel, Dorian M. & Bangwayo-Skeete, Prosper F. & Brei, Michael & Robinson, Justin, 2021. "Sovereign risk spill-overs in the banking sectors of Central America and the Caribbean," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    6. Li Xian Liu & Milind Sathye, 2019. "Bank Interest Rate Margin, Portfolio Composition and Institutional Constraints," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 12(3), pages 1-21, July.
    7. Pires Tiberto, Bruno & Oliveira de Moraes, Claudio & Pio Corrêa, Paloma, 2020. "Does transparency of central banks communication affect credit market? Empirical evidence for advanced and emerging markets," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C).
    8. Mansor H. Ibrahim & Siong Hook Law, 2019. "Financial Intermediation Costs In A Dual Banking System: The Role Of Islamic Banking," Bulletin of Monetary Economics and Banking, Bank Indonesia, vol. 22(4), pages 531-552, December.
    9. Nguyen, Thach V.H. & Nguyen, Thai Vu Hong, 2022. "How do banks price liquidity? The role of market power," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 53(C).
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    11. P. Giannoccolo & J. M. Mansilla-Fern ndez, 2017. "Bank Restructuring, Competition, and Lending Supply: Evidence from the Spanish Banking Sector," Working Papers wp1113, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    12. Hu, Bo & Schclarek, Alfredo & Xu, Jiajun & Yan, Jianye, 2022. "Long-term finance provision: National development banks vs commercial banks," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).
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    14. Konstantins Benkovskis & Olegs Tkacevs & Karlis Vilerts, 2021. "Interest Rate Spreads in the Baltics and the Rest of the Euro Area: Understanding the Factors behind the Differences," Discussion Papers 2021/02, Latvijas Banka.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank margin; bank spread; Central America; Caribbean.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects

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