Cost efficiency of banks in transition: Evidence from 289 banks in 15 post-communist countries
To understand the transformation of banking in the post-communist transition, this paper examines the cost efficiency of 289 banks in 15 east European countries. The findings showed that banking systems in which foreign-owned banks have a larger share of total assets record lower costs and that the association between a country’s progress in banking reform and cost efficiency is non-linear. Early stages of reform are associated with cost reductions, while costs tend to rise at more advanced stages. Private banks are more efficient than state-owned banks, but there are differences among private banks. Privatised banks with majority foreign ownership are the most efficient and those with domestic ownership are the least.
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