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Structural issues in the Kenyan financial system: improving competition and access

  • Beck, Thorsten
  • Fuchs, Michael

Although by regional standards, Kenya's financial system is relatively well developed and diversified, major structural impediments prevent it from reaching its full potential. Crosscountry comparisons, however, show the importance of a well-developed financial sector for long-term economic growth and poverty alleviation. Experience from other developing economies has shown the detrimental effect of government ownership and the positive impact that foreign bank ownership can have on the development of a market-based financial system. Analyzing and decomposing the high interest rate spreads and margins in Kenya helps identify structural impediments that drive the high cost of and low access to financial services. The limited information sharing on debtors, deficiencies in the legal and judicial system, the limited number of strong and reputable banks and non-transparency and uncertainty in the banking market are major impediments to the development of Kenya's financial system, to reducing spreads and to widening access.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3363.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3363
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  1. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1996. "Financial Dependence and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Claessens, Stijn & Laeven, Luc, 2003. "What drives bank competition? some international evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3113, The World Bank.
  3. Wurgler, Jeffrey, 2000. "Financial markets and the allocation of capital," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 187-214.
  4. Clarke, George & Cull, Robert & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad & Sanchez, Susana M., 2001. "Foreign bank entry - experience, implications for developing countries, and agenda for further research," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2698, The World Bank.
  5. Clarke, George R. G. & Cull, Robert & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2001. "Does foreign bank penetration reduce access to credit in developing countries"evidence from asking borrowers," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2716, The World Bank.
  6. Gerard Caprio, Jr., 1995. "The role of financial intermediaries in transitional economies," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 257-302, June.
  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, 02.
  8. Beck, Thorsten & Cull, Robert & Jerome, Afeikhena, 2005. "Bank privatization and performance: Empirical evidence from Nigeria," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8-9), pages 2355-2379, August.
  9. 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.
  10. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 2004. "Finance, inequality, and poverty: cross-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3338, The World Bank.
  11. Raddatz, Claudio, 2003. "Liquidity needs and vulnerability to financial udnerdevelopment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3161, The World Bank.
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