A Comparison of the United States and Canadian Banking Systems in the Twentieth Century: Stability vs. Efficiency?
36 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2001 Last revised: 5 Jun 2021
Date Written: November 1993
This paper asks whether the vaunted comparative stability of the Canadian banking system has been purchased at the cost of creating an oligopoly. We assembled a data set that compares bank failures, lending rates, interest paid on deposits and related variables over the period 1920 to 1980. Our principal findings are that: (1) interest rates paid on deposits were generally higher in Canada; (2) interest income received on securities was generally slightly higher in Canada; (3) interest rates charged on loans were generally quite similar; (4) net rates of return to equity were generally higher in Canada than in the U.S..
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