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Bank consolidation and consumer loan interest rates

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  • Charles M. Kahn
  • George Pennacchi
  • Ben Sopranzetti

Abstract

The recent wave of bank mergers has raised concern with its effect on competition. This paper examines the influence of concentration and merger activity on consumer loan interest rates. It uses Bank Rate Monitor, Inc. survey data on loan rates quoted weekly by large commercial banks in ten major U.S. cities during the 1989 to 1997 period. The pricing behavior of banks is analyzed for two types of loans: new automobile loans and unsecured personal loans. Market concentration is found to have a positive and significant impact on the level of personal loans, but not automobile loans. Consistent with the exercise of market power, we find that personal loan rates rise in markets following a significant merger. However, this is a significant decrease in automobile loan rates charged by banks participating in within-market mergers, a finding consistent with economies of scale in the origination of automobile loans. The paper also tests for the existence of leader-follower relationships in loan pricing and finds that it is more widespread in markets for automobile loans. Interest rates on both types of loans respond asymmetrically to a change in equivalent maturity Treasury security rates, being more sensitive to a rise than a fall. In addition, personal loan rates are less responsive in more concentrated markets.
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Suggested Citation

  • Charles M. Kahn & George Pennacchi & Ben Sopranzetti, 2000. "Bank consolidation and consumer loan interest rates," Proceedings 690, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhpr:690
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles Kahn & George Pennacchi & Ben Sopranzetti, 1999. "Bank Deposit Rate Clustering: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 2185-2214, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sudhakar Kota & Saigeeta Kukunuru, 2011. "Inelasticity Of Emerging Economies To Financial Crisis," Journal of Global Business and Economics, Global Research Agency, vol. 3(1), pages 101-121, July.
    2. Ben Craig & Valeriya Dinger, 2009. "Bank Mergers and the Dynamics of Deposit Interest Rates," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 36(2), pages 111-133, December.
    3. Carow, Kenneth A. & Kane, Edward J., 2002. "Event-study evidence of the value of relaxing long-standing regulatory restraints on banks, 1970-2000," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 439-463.
    4. Robert M. Adams & Dean F. Amel, 2005. "The effects of local banking market structure on the banking-lending channel of monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-16, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Adams, Robert M. & Amel, Dean F., 2011. "Market structure and the pass-through of the federal funds rate," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1087-1096, May.
    6. Dario Focarelli & Fabio Panetta, 2003. "Are Mergers Beneficial to Consumers? Evidence from the Market for Bank Deposits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1152-1172, September.
    7. Ahmad Bello Dogarawa, 2011. "Chronology of banking reforms in Nigeria: A survey of past and present theoretical and empirical literature," Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(4), pages 370-382, November.
    8. Robert DeYoung & Douglas Evanoff & Philip Molyneux, 2009. "Mergers and Acquisitions of Financial Institutions: A Review of the Post-2000 Literature," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 36(2), pages 87-110, December.
    9. Fabio Panetta & Dario Focarelli, 2003. "Are Mergers Beneficial to Consumers? Evidence from the Italian Market for Bank Deposits," CEIS Research Paper 10, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.

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    Keywords

    Bank loans ; Bank mergers;

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