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Interest Rate Spreads in the Eastern Caribbean


  • Ruby Randall


This paper examines interest rate spreads in the Eastern Caribbean and seeks to explain why they are persistently high by comparison with other low-inflation countries. The paper concludes that operating costs appear to be a key determinant of observed interest rate spreads, giving rise to the policy recommendation that efforts to expand the market size of efficient banks might help pave the way for greater efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruby Randall, 1998. "Interest Rate Spreads in the Eastern Caribbean," IMF Working Papers 98/59, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:98/59

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Demirguc, Asli & Huizinga, Harry, 1999. "Determinants of Commercial Bank Interest Margins and Profitability: Some International Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 379-408, May.
    2. Magnus Saxegaard, 2006. "Excess Liquidity and Effectiveness of Monetary Policy; Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 06/115, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Robert G. King & Ross Levine, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-737.
    4. Berger, Allen N, 1995. "The Relationship between Capital and Earnings in Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 432-456, May.
    5. Beck, Thorsten, 2000. "Impediments to the development and efficiency of financial intermediation in Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2382, The World Bank.
    6. Berger, Allen N & Hannan, Timothy H, 1989. "The Price-Concentration Relationship in Banking," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 291-299, May.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Government Ownership of Banks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 265-301, February.
    8. repec:hrv:faseco:30747188 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Enrica Detragiache & Thierry Tressel & Poonam Gupta, 2008. "Foreign Banks in Poor Countries: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(5), pages 2123-2160, October.
    10. Mohsin S. Khan & Abdelhak S Senhadji, 2000. "Financial Development and Economic Growth; An Overview," IMF Working Papers 00/209, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Ben S. Bernanke, 1990. "On the predictive power of interest rates and interest rate spreads," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Nov, pages 51-68.
    12. Ephraim W. Chirwa & Montfort Mlachila, 2004. "Financial Reforms and Interest Rate Spreads in the Commercial Banking System in Malawi," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(1), pages 1-5.
    13. Ho, Thomas S. Y. & Saunders, Anthony, 1981. "The Determinants of Bank Interest Margins: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(04), pages 581-600, November.
    14. Thorsten Beck, 2007. "Bank Concentration and Fragility. Impact and Mechanics," NBER Chapters,in: The Risks of Financial Institutions, pages 193-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Brock, Philip L. & Rojas Suarez, Liliana, 2000. "Understanding the behavior of bank spreads in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 113-134, October.
    16. Ruby Randall, 1998. "Interest Rate Spreads in the Eastern Caribbean," IMF Working Papers 98/59, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Demirguc, Asli & Laeven, Luc & Levine, Ross, 2003. "The impact of bank regulations, concentration, and institutions on bank margins," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3030, The World Bank.
    18. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross, 2002. "Industry growth and capital allocation:*1: does having a market- or bank-based system matter?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 147-180, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hossain, Monzur, 2012. "Financial reforms and persistently high bank interest spreads in Bangladesh: Pitfalls in institutional development?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 395-408.
    2. World Bank, 2013. "Zambia Economic Brief, October 2013 : Zambia's Jobs Challenge--Realities on the Ground," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16698, The World Bank.
    3. Poghosyan, Tigran, 2013. "Financial intermediation costs in low income countries: The role of regulatory, institutional, and macroeconomic factors," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 92-110.
    4. Ephraim W. Chirwa & Montfort Mlachila, 2002. "Financial Reforms and Interest Rate Spreads in the Commercial Banking System in Malawi," IMF Working Papers 02/6, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Birchwood, Anthony & Brei, Michael & Noel, Dorian M., 2017. "Interest margins and bank regulation in Central America and the Caribbean," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 56-68.
    6. repec:spi:joabfr:2017:p:34-45 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:rss:jnljfe:v3i2p4 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Fazurin Jamaludin & Vladimir Klyuev & Anuk Serechetapongse, 2015. "What Drives Interest Rate Spreads in Pacific Island Countries? An Empirical Investigation," IMF Working Papers 15/96, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Laura Valderrama & Wendell A. Samuel, 2006. "The Monetary Policy Regime and Banking Spreads in Barbados," IMF Working Papers 06/211, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Joe Crowley, 2007. "Interest Rate Spreads in English-Speaking African Countries," IMF Working Papers 07/101, International Monetary Fund.

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