Proximity to bank headquarters and branch efficiency: evidence from mortgage lending

Ivan Lim, Duc Duy Nguyen, Linh Nguyen, John O. S. Wilson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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We use the staggered introduction of new flight routes to identify reductions in travel time between banks’ headquarters and branches to examine their effects on branch outputs and efficiency. Reductions in headquarters-branch travel time increases branch-level mortgage origination volume, and these loans exhibit higher ex-post performance. Further analyses suggest these effects are due to branch employees working harder and more efficiently in seeking new customers, and screening applications. Overall, our results suggest that geographic proximity enables bank headquarters to monitor branches more effectively and mitigate distance-related agency costs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages44
JournalJournal of Money, Credit and Banking
VolumeEarly View
Early online date28 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Mar 2024


  • Mortgage lending
  • Proximity
  • Banking
  • Branches
  • Geographic expansion


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