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Nationwide branching and its impact on market structure, quality and bank performance

  • Astrid A. Dick
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    Based on a sample for 1993-1999, this paper examines the effects of nationwide branching, following the Riegle-Neal Act, on various aspects of banking markets and bank service and performance. While concentration at the regional level has increased dramatically, deregulation has left almost intact the market structure of urban markets, which have between two to three dominant firms--controlling over half of a market's deposits--in 1999 just as they did in 1993. A significant portion of the observed increase in bank quality can be traced to the implementation of nationwide branching. By allowing banks to open branches in any state, the new regime has permitted consumers to enjoy greater networks, free of fees, throughout large geographic regions. Consistent with an increase in service quality, costs and service fees increase. Credit risk increases as greater geographic diversification might provide a hedge against greater risk-return choices. Coherent with these findings and an increase in lending competition and profit efficiency, spreads fall and profits are unaffected.

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    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2003-35.

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    Date of creation: 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2003-35
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    1. Jith Jayaratne & Philip E. Strahan, 1996. "The Finance-Growth Nexus: Evidence from Bank Branch Deregulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 639-670.
    2. Stiroh, Kevin J & Strahan, Philip E, 2003. " Competitive Dynamics of Deregulation: Evidence from U.S. Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 801-28, October.
    3. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 2002. "Explaining the dramatic changes in performance of U.S. banks: technological change, deregulation, and dynamic changes in competition," Working Papers 01-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    4. Fisher, Franklin M & McGowan, John J, 1983. "On the Misuse of Accounting Rates of Return to Infer Monopoly Profits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 82-97, March.
    5. Paul S. Calem, 1994. "The impact of geographic deregulation on small banks," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Nov, pages 17-31.
    6. Allen N. Berger & Rebecca Demsetz & Philip E. Strahan, 1998. "The consolidation of the financial services industry: causes, consequences, and implications for the future," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Randall S. Kroszner & Philip E. Strahan, 1999. "What Drives Deregulation? Economics and Politics of the Relaxation of Bank Branching Restrictions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1437-1467.
    8. Berger, Allen N. & Mester, Loretta J., 1997. "Inside the black box: What explains differences in the efficiencies of financial institutions?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 895-947, July.
    9. Jayaratne, Jith & Strahan, Philip E, 1998. "Entry Restrictions, Industry Evolution, and Dynamic Efficiency: Evidence from Commercial Banking," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 239-73, April.
    10. Allen N. Berger & Anil K. Kashyap & Joseph Scalise, 1995. "The Transformation of the U.S. Banking Industry: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-06, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    11. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1987. "Product Differentiation and Industrial Structure," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 131-46, December.
    12. Astrid A. Dick, 2002. "Demand estimation and consumer welfare in the banking industry," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-58, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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