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Financial structure and bank profitability


  • Demirguc-Kunt, Asli
  • Huizinga, Harry


Countries differ in the extent to which their financial systems are bank-based or market-based. The financial systems of Germany and Japan, for example, are considered bank-based because banks play a leading role in mobilizing savings, allocating capital, overseeing investment decisions of corporate managers, and providing risk management vehicles. The systems of the United States, and the United Kingdom are considered more market-based. Using bank-level data for a large number of industrial and developing countries, the authors present evidence about the impact of financial development, and structure on bank performance. They measure the relative importance of bank or market finance by the relative size of stock aggregates, by relative trading or transaction volumes, and by indicators of relative efficiency. They show that in developing countries, both banks and stock markets are less developed, but financial systems tend to be more bank-based. The richer the country, the more active are all financial intermediaries. The greater the development of a country's banks, the tougher is the competition, the greater is the efficiency, and the lower are the bank margins, and profits. The more under-developed the stock market, the greater are the bank profits. But financial structure per se does not have a significant, independent influence on bank margins, and profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Huizinga, Harry, 2000. "Financial structure and bank profitability," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2430, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2430

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Huizinga, Harry, 2001. "The taxation of domestic and foreign banking," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 429-453, March.
    2. 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.
    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. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-586, June.
    5. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 1995. "Stock market development and firm financing choices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1461, The World Bank.
    6. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    7. Levine, Ross, 2002. "Bank-Based or Market-Based Financial Systems: Which Is Better?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 398-428, October.
    8. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 1998. "Law, Finance, and Firm Growth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2107-2137, December.
    9. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance, entrepreneurship and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 513-542, December.
    10. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 1999. "Bank-based and market-based financial systems - cross-country comparisons," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2143, The World Bank.
    11. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 1999. "A new database on financial development and structure," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2146, The World Bank.
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