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The Impact of Technology and Regulation on the Geographical Scope of Banking

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  • Hans Degryse
  • Steven Ongena

Abstract

We review how technological advances and changes in regulation may shape the (future) geographical scope of banking. We first review how both physical distance and the presence of borders currently affect bank lending conditions (loan pricing and credit availability) and market presence (branching and servicing). Next we discuss how technology and regulation have altered this impact and analyse the current state of the European banking sector. We discuss both theoretical contributions and empirical work and highlight open questions along the way. We draw three main lessons from the current theoretical and empirical literature: (1) Bank lending to small businesses in Europe may be characterized both by (local) spatial pricing and resilient (regional and/or national) market segmentation; (2) Because of informational asymmetries in the retail market, bank mergers and acquisitions seem the optimal route of entering another market, long before cross-border servicing or direct entry are economically feasible; (3) Current technological and regulatory developments may to a large extent remain impotent in further dismantling the various residual but mutually reinforcing frictions in the retail banking markets in Europe. We conclude the paper by offering pertinent policy recommendations based on these three lessons.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Degryse & Steven Ongena, 2004. "The Impact of Technology and Regulation on the Geographical Scope of Banking," Working Papers Department of Economics ces0408, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0408
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    Keywords

    geographical scope; banking; lending relationships; technology; and regulation.;

    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
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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