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Is Bigger Necessarily Better in Community Banking?

Listed author(s):
  • Joseph P. Hughes

    ()

    (Rutgers University)

  • Julapa Jagtiani

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

  • Loretta J. Mester

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)

We investigate the relative performance of publicly traded community banks (those with assets less than $10 billion) versus larger banks (those with assets between $10 billion and $50 billion). A body of research has shown that community banks have potential advantages in relationship lending compared with large banks, although newer research suggests that these advantages may be shrinking. In addition, the burdens placed on community banks by the regulatory reforms mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the need to increase investment in technology, both of which have fixed-cost components, may have disproportionately raised community banks’ costs. We find that, on average, large banks financially outperform community banks as a group and are more efficient at credit-risk assessment and monitoring. But within the community bank segment, larger community banks outperform smaller community banks. Our findings, taken as a whole, suggest that there are incentives for small banks to grow larger to exploit scale economies and to achieve other scale-related benefits in terms of credit-risk monitoring. In addition, we find that small business lending is an important factor in the better performance of large community banks compared with small community banks. Thus, concern that small business lending would be adversely affected if small community banks find it beneficial to increase their scale is not supported by our results.

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File URL: http://www.sas.rutgers.edu/virtual/snde/wp/2016-04.pdf
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Paper provided by Rutgers University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 201604.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 23 Jun 2016
Publication status: Published Posted at SSRN: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2798539
Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:201604
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  1. Elena Beccalli & Pascal Frantz, 2013. "The Determinants of Mergers and Acquisitions in Banking," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 265-291, June.
  2. Hughes, Joseph P. & Mester, Loretta J. & Moon, Choon-Geol, 2001. "Are scale economies in banking elusive or illusive?: Evidence obtained by incorporating capital structure and risk-taking into models of bank production," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 2169-2208, December.
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  6. Michel A. Habib & Alexander Ljungqvist, 2005. "Firm Value and Managerial Incentives: A Stochastic Frontier Approach," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(6), pages 2053-2094, November.
  7. Berger, Allen N. & Udell, Gregory F., 2006. "A more complete conceptual framework for SME finance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2945-2966, November.
  8. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1995. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 407-443.
  9. Berger, Allen N. & Goulding, William & Rice, Tara, 2014. "Do small businesses still prefer community banks?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 264-278.
  10. Jagtiani, Julapa & Lemieux, Catharine, 2016. "Small Business Lending: Challenges and Opportunities for Community Banks," Working Papers 16-02, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
  11. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
  12. Hughes, Joseph P. & Lang, William W. & Mester, Loretta J. & Moon, Choon-Geol, 1999. "The dollars and sense of bank consolidation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 291-324, February.
  13. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2002. "Does Distance Still Matter? The Information Revolution in Small Business Lending," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2533-2570, December.
  14. Kovner, Anna & Vickery, James & Zhou, Lily, 2015. "Do big banks have lower operating costs?," Journal of Financial Perspectives, EY Global FS Institute, vol. 3(1), pages 157-196.
  15. Jagtiani, Julapa & Kotliar, Ian & Maingi, Ramain Quinn, 2014. "The evolution of u.s. Community banks and its impact on small business lending," Working Papers 14-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 01 Oct 2015.
  16. Hughes, Joseph P. & Lang, William W. & Mester, Loretta J. & Moon, Choon-Geol & Pagano, Michael S., 2003. "Do bankers sacrifice value to build empires? Managerial incentives, industry consolidation, and financial performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 417-447, March.
  17. Robert DeYoung & W. Frame & Dennis Glennon & Peter Nigro, 2011. "The Information Revolution and Small Business Lending: The Missing Evidence," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 39(1), pages 19-33, April.
  18. Robin A. Prager & John D. Wolken, 2008. "The evolving relationship between community banks and small businesses: evidence from the Surveys of Small Business Finances," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-60, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Donald Morgan & Adam Ashcraft, 2003. "Using Loan Rates to Measure and Regulate Bank Risk: Findings and an Immodest Proposal," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 24(2), pages 181-200, October.
  20. Allen Berger & Adrian Cowan & W. Frame, 2011. "The Surprising Use of Credit Scoring in Small Business Lending by Community Banks and the Attendant Effects on Credit Availability, Risk, and Profitability," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 39(1), pages 1-17, April.
  21. Loretta J. Mester, 1999. "Banking industry's consolidation: what's a small business to do?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Jan, pages 3-16.
  22. Bauer, Paul W., 1990. "Recent developments in the econometric estimation of frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 39-56.
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