IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedhpr/905.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The effects of focus and diversification on bank risk and return: evidence from individual bank loan portfolios

Author

Listed:
  • Viral V. Acharya
  • Iftekhar Hasan
  • Anthony Saunders

Abstract

We study empirically the effect of focus (specialization) vs. diversification on the return and the risk of banks using data from 105 Italian banks over the period 1993?1999. Specifically, we analyze the tradeoffs between (loan portfolio) focus and diversification using a unique data set that is able to identify individual bank loan exposures to different industries, to different sectors, and to different geographical regions. Our results are consistent with a theory that predicts a deterioration in bank monitoring quality at high levels of risk and a deterioration in bank monitoring quality upon lending expansion into newer or competitive industries. Our most important findings are that industrial loan diversification reduces bank return while endogenously producing riskier loans for all banks in our sample, this effect being most powerful for high risk banks, sectoral loan diversification produces an inefficient risk?return tradeoff only for high risk banks, and geographical diversification results in an improvement in the risk?return tradeoff for banks with low levels of risk. A robust result that emerges from our empirical findings is that diversification of bank assets is not guaranteed to produce superior performance and/or greater safety for banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Viral V. Acharya & Iftekhar Hasan & Anthony Saunders, 2002. "The effects of focus and diversification on bank risk and return: evidence from individual bank loan portfolios," Proceedings 905, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhpr:905
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Acharya, Viral V., 2009. "A theory of systemic risk and design of prudential bank regulation," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 224-255, September.
    2. James, Christopher, 1987. "Some evidence on the uniqueness of bank loans," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 217-235, December.
    3. Gordon M Phillips & Vojislav Maksimovic, 1999. "Do Conglomerate Firms Allocate Resources Inefficiently?," Working Papers 99-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Comment, Robert & Jarrell, Gregg A., 1995. "Corporate focus and stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 67-87, January.
    5. Arnoud W. A. Boot & Anjan V. Thakor, 2000. "Can Relationship Banking Survive Competition?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 679-713, April.
    6. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    7. Sherrill Shaffer, 1989. "Pooling intensifies joint failure risk," Working Papers 89-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    8. Boyd, John H. & Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 211-232, April.
    9. Thakor, Anjan V., 2000. "Relationship Banking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 3-5, January.
    10. Fama, Eugene F., 1980. "Banking in the theory of finance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 39-57, January.
    11. Raghuram Rajan & Henri Servaes & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 35-80, February.
    12. Cerasi, Vittoria & Daltung, Sonja, 2000. "The optimal size of a bank: Costs and benefits of diversification," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1701-1726, October.
    13. Sapienza, Paola, 2002. "What Do State-Owned Firms Maximize? Evidence from the Italian Banks," CEPR Discussion Papers 3168, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Allen Berger & Robert DeYoung, 2001. "The Effects of Geographic Expansion on Bank Efficiency," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 19(2), pages 163-184, April.
    15. David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 2000. "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets: Divisional Rent‐Seeking and Inefficient Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2537-2564, December.
    16. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    17. Berger, Allen N. & Demsetz, Rebecca S. & Strahan, Philip E., 1999. "The consolidation of the financial services industry: Causes, consequences, and implications for the future," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 135-194, February.
    18. DeLong, Gayle L., 2001. "Stockholder gains from focusing versus diversifying bank mergers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 221-252, February.
    19. Rajan, Raghuram G, 1992. "Insiders and Outsiders: The Choice between Informed and Arm's-Length Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1367-1400, September.
    20. Robert Hauswald & Robert Marquez, 2006. "Competition and Strategic Information Acquisition in Credit Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(3), pages 967-1000.
    21. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    22. Enrica Detragiache & Paolo Garella & Luigi Guiso, 2000. "Multiple versus Single Banking Relationships: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1133-1161, June.
    23. Sharpe, Steven A, 1990. "Asymmetric Information, Bank Lending, and Implicit Contracts: A Stylized Model of Customer Relationships," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1069-1087, September.
    24. Shaffer, Sherrill, 1998. "The Winner's Curse in Banking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 359-392, October.
    25. Denis, David J & Denis, Diane K & Sarin, Atulya, 1997. "Agency Problems, Equity Ownership, and Corporate Diversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 135-160, March.
    26. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 1996. "Safety in numbers? Geographic diversification and bank insolvency risk," Proceedings 504, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    27. José Manuel Campa & Simi Kedia, 1999. "Explaining the Diversification Discount," Working Papers 99-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    28. Fama, Eugene F., 1985. "What's different about banks?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 29-39, January.
    29. Karl Lins & Henri Servaes, 1999. "International Evidence on the Value of Corporate Diversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 2215-2239, December.
    30. Berger, Philip G. & Ofek, Eli, 1995. "Diversification's effect on firm value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 39-65, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Viral V. Acharya & Iftekhar Hasan & Anthony Saunders, 2006. "Should Banks Be Diversified? Evidence from Individual Bank Loan Portfolios," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1355-1412, May.
    2. Berger, Allen N. & Hasan, Iftekhar & Zhou, Mingming, 2010. "The effects of focus versus diversification on bank performance: Evidence from Chinese banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1417-1435, July.
    3. Laeven, Luc & Levine, Ross, 2007. "Is there a diversification discount in financial conglomerates?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 331-367, August.
    4. Francis, Bill B. & Hasan, Iftekhar & Küllü, A. Melih & Zhou, Mingming, 2018. "Should banks diversify or focus? Know thyself: The role of abilities," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 106-118.
    5. repec:zbw:cfswop:wp200418 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Carletti, Elena & Cerasi, Vittoria & Daltung, Sonja, 2007. "Multiple-bank lending: Diversification and free-riding in monitoring," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 425-451, July.
    7. Cetorelli, Nicola & Peretto, Pietro F., 2012. "Credit quantity and credit quality: Bank competition and capital accumulation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 967-998.
    8. Patrick Bolton & David S. Scharfstein, 1998. "Corporate Finance, the Theory of the Firm, and Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 95-114, Fall.
    9. Evelyn Hayden & Daniel Porath & Natalja Westernhagen, 2007. "Does Diversification Improve the Performance of German Banks? Evidence from Individual Bank Loan Portfolios," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 32(3), pages 123-140, December.
    10. Andrew Winton, 1999. "Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket? Diversification and Specialization in Lending," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 00-16, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    11. Khan, Abu & Hassan, M. Kabir & Maroney, Neal & Boujlil, Rhada & Ozkan, Bora, 2020. "Efficiency, diversification, and performance of US banks," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 101-117.
    12. Yu, Hai-Chin & Sopranzetti, Ben J. & Lee, Cheng-Few, 2012. "Multiple banking relationships, managerial ownership concentration and firm value: A simultaneous equations approach," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 286-297.
    13. José Manuel Campa & Simi Kedia, 1999. "Explaining the Diversification Discount," Working Papers 99-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    14. Paola Brighi & Valeria Venturelli, 2013. "The Effect Of Revenue And Geographic Diversification On Bank Performance," Centro Studi di Banca e Finanza (CEFIN) (Center for Studies in Banking and Finance) 0043, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".
    15. Paola Brighi & Valeria Venturelli, 2013. "The Effect Of Revenue And Geographic Diversification On Bank Performance," Centro Studi di Banca e Finanza (CEFIN) (Center for Studies in Banking and Finance) 13103, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".
    16. Robert M. Bushman & Christopher D. Williams & Regina Wittenberg‐Moerman, 2017. "The Informational Role of the Media in Private Lending," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 115-152, March.
    17. Campa, Jose M. & Chang, P. H. Kevin & Refalo, James F., 2002. "An options-based analysis of emerging market exchange rate expectations: Brazil's Real Plan, 1994-1999," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 227-253, October.
    18. Gorton, Gary & Winton, Andrew, 2003. "Financial intermediation," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 431-552, Elsevier.
    19. Hai-Chin Yu & Ben Sopranzetti & Cheng-Few Lee, 2015. "The impact of banking relationships, managerial incentives, and board monitoring on corporate cash holdings: an emerging market perspective," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 353-378, February.
    20. Annalisa Castelli & Gerald P. Dwyer & Iftekhar Hasan, 2012. "Bank Relationships and Firms' Financial Performance: The Italian Experience," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 18(1), pages 28-67, January.
    21. Yu, Y., 2014. "Essays on relationship banking," Other publications TiSEM f3d56b9e-e79e-46c4-bd42-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank capital; Risk management;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedhpr:905. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbchus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbchus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.