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Economies of Scale and Efficiency in European Banking: New Evidence

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  • Wagenvoort, Rien

    (European Investment Bank, Economic and Financial Studies)

  • Schure, Paul

    (European University Institute in Florence)

Abstract

This paper investigates the cost efficiency of 1974 credit institutions across 15 European countries over the five-year period following the implementation of the Second Banking Directive in 1993. The Recursive Thick Frontier Approach is employed to estimate a Augmented Cobb-Douglas cost frontier that allows banks of different types, in different periods, and belonging to different size categories, to operate at different costs per unit of assets. As size economies are exhausted at a balance sheet total of EUR 600 million, we do not find major economic gains from economies of scale for the overall European banking industry. However, the saving bank sector may reduce average costs with roughly 6% by choosing an optimal size for its institutions. No impact of technological progress on the average costs of the full sample of X-efficient banks could be detected but managerial efficient saving banks reduced average costs with 9% during our sample period. The most important reason for inefficiencies in the European banking is managerial inability to control costs. Although in some countries such as the UK and The Netherlands cost reductions were rapidly achieved, the average level of X-inefficiency of European banks still exceeded 16% in 1997.

Suggested Citation

  • Wagenvoort, Rien & Schure, Paul, 1999. "Economies of Scale and Efficiency in European Banking: New Evidence," Economic and Financial Reports 1999/1, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:eibefr:1999_001
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    Cited by:

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    2. Carol Ann Northcott, 2004. "Competition in Banking: A Review of the Literature," Staff Working Papers 04-24, Bank of Canada.
    3. Schure, Paul & Wagenvoort, Rien & O'Brien, Dermot, 2004. "The efficiency and the conduct of European banks: Developments after 1992," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 371-396.
    4. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Giavazzi, Francesco & von Thadden, Ernst-Ludwig, 2000. "European Financial Markets After EMU: A First Assessment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2413, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Onischenko, Volodimyr & Romanova, Tatyana, 2016. "The Study Of Realities And Prospects Of Interaction Of Ukraine With European Financial Organizations In The Conditions Of Integration Processes," EUREKA: Social and Humanities, Scientific Route OÜ, issue 4, pages 9-15.
    6. Wagenvoort, Rien & Schure, Paul, 1999. "The Recursive Thick Frontier Approach to Estimating Efficiency," Economic and Financial Reports 1999/2, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    7. Simplice A. Asongu & Nicholas M. Odhiambo, 2019. "Size, efficiency, market power, and economies of scale in the African banking sector," Financial Innovation, Springer;Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, vol. 5(1), pages 1-22, December.
    8. Marko Košak & Peter Zajc & Jelena Zorić, 2009. "Bank efficiency differences in the new EU member states," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 9(2), pages 67-90, December.
    9. Abbasoğlu, Osman Furkan & Aysan, Ahmet Faruk & Gunes, Ali, 2007. "Concentration, Competition, Efficiency and Profitability of the Turkish Banking Sector in the Post-Crises Period," MPRA Paper 5494, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Kox, Henk L.M. & Van Leeuwen, George & Van der Wiel, Henry, 2011. "Being numerous does not yield efficiency - Productivity and entry-exit determinants in European business services," MPRA Paper 106166, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Sep 2011.
    11. Simplice Asongu & Rexon Nting & Joseph Nnanna, 2020. "Market power and cost efficiency in the African banking industry," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 47(6), pages 1247-1264, May.
    12. Amel, Dean & Barnes, Colleen & Panetta, Fabio & Salleo, Carmelo, 2004. "Consolidation and efficiency in the financial sector: A review of the international evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 2493-2519, October.
    13. Chrysovalantis Gaganis & Fotios Pasiouras & Charalambos Spathis, 2013. "Regulations and Audit Opinions: Evidence from EU Banking Institutions," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 41(3), pages 387-405, March.
    14. Javier Delgado & Ignacio Hernando & María J. Nieto, 2007. "Do European Primarily Internet Banks Show Scale and Experience Efficiencies?," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 13(4), pages 643-671, September.
    15. Andrea Pacella, 2008. "The Effects Of Labour Market Flexibility In The Monetary Theory Of Production," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 608-632, November.
    16. Abdul Rafay & Saqib Farid, 2018. "Competitive Environment in Banking Industry: Evidence from an Emerging Economy," Business & Economic Review, Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar, Pakistan, vol. 10(3), pages 65-84, September.
    17. Jordan, Dan J. & Rice, Douglas & Sanchez, Jacques & Wort, Donald H., 2011. "Explaining bank market-to-book ratios: Evidence from 2006 to 2009," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 2047-2055, August.
    18. Fenn, Paul & Vencappa, Dev & Diacon, Stephen & Klumpes, Paul & O'Brien, Chris, 2008. "Market structure and the efficiency of European insurance companies: A stochastic frontier analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 86-100, January.
    19. Guenter Lang, 2000. "The Impact of SMP and EMU on German Banking," Discussion Paper Series 192, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    20. Koutsomanoli-Filippaki, Anastasia & Mamatzakis, Emmanuel C., 2010. "Estimating the speed of adjustment of European banking efficiency under a quadratic loss function," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-11, January.

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    Keywords

    X-efficiency; Economies of scale; European Banking; Cost Frontier; Recursive Thick Frontier Approach;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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