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Jacob A. Bikker

28 June 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 768
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Abstract
This paper is the first that applies a new measure of competition, the Boone indicator, to the banking industry. This approach is able to measure competition of bank market segments, such as the loan market, whereas many well-known measures of competition can consider the entire banking market only. A caveat of the Boone-indicator may be that it assumes that banks generally pass on at least part of their efficiency gains to their clients. Like most other model-based measures, this approach ignores differences in bank product quality and design, as well as the attractiveness of innovations. We measure competition on the lending markets in the five major EU countries as well as, for comparison, the UK, the US and Japan. Bearing the mentioned caveats in mind, our findings indicate that over the period 1994-2004 the US had the most competitive loan market, whereas overall loan markets in Germany and Spain were among the best competitive in the EU. The Netherlands occupied a more intermediate position, whereas in Italy competition declined significantly over time. The French, Japanese and UK loan markets were generally less competitive. Turning to competition among specific types of banks, commercial banks tend to be more competitive, particularly in Germany and the US, than savings and cooperative banks.
JEL Code
D4 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
L1 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
31 March 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 885
Details
Abstract
This paper analyses the impact of loan market competition on the interest rates applied by euro area banks to loans and deposits during the 1994-2004 period, using a novel measure of competition called the Boone indicator. We find evidence that stronger competition implies significantly lower spreads between bank and market interest rates for most loan market products. Using an error correction model (ECM) approach to measure the effect of competition on the pass-through of market rates to bank interest rates, we likewise find that banks tend to price their loans more in accordance with the market in countries where competitive pressures are stronger. Further, where loan market competition is stronger, we observe larger bank spreads (implying lower bank interest rates) on current account and time deposits. This would suggest that the competitive pressure is heavier in the loan market than in the deposit markets, so that banks compensate for their reduction in loan market income by lowering their deposit rates. We observe also that bank interest rates in more competitive markets respond more strongly to changes in market interest rates. These findings have important monetary policy implications, as they suggest that measures to enhance competition in the European banking sector will tend to render the monetary policy transmission mechanism more effective.
JEL Code
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
D4 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing
E50 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→General
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
L10 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→General