Bank Competition, Diversification and Financial Stability
27 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2009 Last revised: 20 Jul 2011
Date Written: February 12, 2009
A tension exists in the current literature as to whether or not competition contributes to banking stability. On the one side, proponents of the so called ‘franchise value hypothesis’ argue that banks with greater market power are able to protect their franchise value because they are not income constrained. On the other side, are those who reject this hypothesis and hold the view that banks in uncompetitive markets are prone to originate riskier loans which are detrimental to their stability. We provide additional empirical insight into these conflicting views by arguing that competition affects bank solvency not only through the traditional channels, but also through banks’ decisions to diversify their business activities. We use the H-statistic, a non-structural methodology put forward by Panzar and Rosse (1987) to measure banking sector competition for 704 banks across 32 countries during the period 2000 - 2007. Our results show that competition increases bank stability because of the decisions banks make to diversify their activities. We also find that regulatory initiative which restricts banking activities imposes severe entry requirements, requires high regulatory capital and provides effective official supervisory power influences banks’ decision to diversify.
Keywords: bank competition, diversification, financial stability, banking regulation
JEL Classification: G21, G33, G38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation