Are There Any Cost and Profit Efficiency Gains in Financial Conglomeration? Evidence from the Accession Countries

Dimitris Chronopoulos, Claudia Girardone, John Nankervis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Diversified banks should benefit from an efficient allocation of resources, debt coinsurance and scope economies. At the same time, critics of diversification question these advantages pointing to agency problems such as managerial entrenchment and empire building that could also lead to diversification but for the ‘wrong’ reasons. This paper sheds further light on the issue of bank diversification by taking a direct look into how efficiently financial conglomerates operate and by measuring to what extent size and other bank- and market-specific factors matter in evaluating the relationship between diversification and efficiency. We focus on banks operating in the accession countries over the period 2001–2007 and estimate their cost and alternative profit efficiencies using a data envelopment analysis estimator. The results indicate that banks suffer from relatively high cost and profit inefficiencies and that there are noticeable differences in the efficiency levels across countries. Concerning banks’ degree of diversification, we find strong evidence to suggest that more diversified institutions are more likely to be cost- and profit-efficient and that size is a key factor in explaining best practice, particularly on the profit side.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-621
JournalEuropean Journal of Finance
Volume17
Issue number8
Early online date6 Feb 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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