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Does distance matter in banking?

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  • Kenneth P. Brevoort
  • John D. Wolken

Abstract

Deregulation and technological change have reduced the transactions costs that led to the dominance of local financial service suppliers, leading some to question if distance still matters in banking. This debate has been particularly acute in small business banking, where transactions costs are believed to be particularly high. This paper provides a detailed review of the literature on distance in banking markets, highlighting the reasons why geographic proximity is believed to be important and examining the changes that may have affected its importance. Relying on new data from the 2003 Survey of Small Business Finances, we examine how distances between small firms and their financial service suppliers changed over the 1993-2003 decade. Our analysis reveals that distances increased, though the extent varied substantially across financial services and supplier types. Generally, increases were observed in the early half of the decade, while distances declined in the following five years. There was also a trend towards less in person interaction between small firms and their suppliers of financial services. Nevertheless, most relationships remained local, with a median distance of 5 miles in 2003. The results suggest that distance, while perhaps not as tyrannical as in the past, remains an important factor in banking.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth P. Brevoort & John D. Wolken, 2008. "Does distance matter in banking?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2008-34
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Knyazeva, Anzhela & Knyazeva, Diana, 2012. "Does being your bank’s neighbor matter?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1194-1209.
    2. Milani, Carlo, 2014. "Borrower–lender distance and loan default rates: Macro evidence from the Italian local markets," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 1-21.
    3. Andrea F. Presbitero & Gregory F. Udell & Alberto Zazzaro, 2014. "The Home Bias and the Credit Crunch: A Regional Perspective," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(s1), pages 53-85, February.
    4. repec:onb:oenbmp:y:2017:i:q2/17:b:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Friederike Niepmann, 2013. "Banking across borders with heterogeneous banks," Staff Reports 609, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    6. Michael King, 2012. "Is Mobile Banking Breaking the Tyranny of Distance to Bank Infrastructure? Evidence from Kenya," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp412, IIIS.
    7. Pietro Alessandrini & Andrea Filippo Presbitero & Alberto Zazzaro, 2008. "Global Banking and Local Markets," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 4, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    8. Bellucci, Andrea & Borisov, Alexander & Zazzaro, Alberto, 2013. "Do banks price discriminate spatially? Evidence from small business lending in local credit markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4183-4197.
    9. Bellucci, Andrea & Borisov, Alexander & Zazzaro, Alberto, 2010. "Does gender matter in bank-firm relationships? Evidence from small business lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2968-2984, December.
    10. Victor Aguirregabiria & Robert Clark & Hui Wang, 2016. "Diversification of geographic risk in retail bank networks: evidence from bank expansion after the Riegle-Neal Act," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(3), pages 529-572, August.
    11. Owen, Ann L. & Temesvary, Judit, 2014. "What determines cross-border bank lending and risk-taking? The effects of culture, geography, institutions, and information exchange," MPRA Paper 57692, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Dimitrova-Grajzl, Valentina & Grajzl, Peter & Guse, A. Joseph & Todd, Richard M., 2015. "Consumer credit on American Indian reservations," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 518-540.
    13. Zarutskie, Rebecca, 2013. "Competition, financial innovation and commercial bank loan portfolios," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 373-396.
    14. Nabi, Mahmoud Sami & Ben Souissi, Souraya, 2011. "Could dishonest banks be disciplined ?," MPRA Paper 32010, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    Keywords

    Banks and banking ; Small business;

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