Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Bank competition and financial system stability in a developing economy: does bank capitalization and size matter?

Chileshe, Patrick Mumbi (2017): Bank competition and financial system stability in a developing economy: does bank capitalization and size matter? Forthcoming in: International Journal of Economic Sciences

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This study investigates the effect of bank competition, bank size, diversification and capitalization on risk taking behavior of commercial banks using panel data from Zambia. In addition, the study investigates the effect of capitalization and bank size on the bank competition-stability nexus. The empirical analysis is performed in two stages. In the first stage, time varying bank-specific Lerner Index is estimated. Then this measure of market power as well as other control variables are regressed on measures of bank soundness such as credit risk and overall stability (Z-Score and ZROE). Using a quarterly panel data of Zambian Banks covering the period Q1 2005 to Q4 2016, in general results from the study show that there is a positive relationship between market power and bank stability. In particular, results show that an increase in market power reduces a banks credit risk while it increases overall bank stability. These results are consistent with the ‘concentration-stability’ hypothesis common in some empirical literature. Furthermore, bank size and capitalization are associated with improvement in bank stability while lack of income diversification reduces bank stability. Finally, results of this study also indicate that larger and well-capitalized banks with market power are more stable than smaller and less capitalized ones. Policy implications for supervisory authorities in Zambia and other developing countries can be drawn from this study. First, there is need for supervisory authorities in Zambia to tread carefully with regard to enhancing competition in the banking sector as the results clearly indicate that it can have negative effects on financial stability. Secondly, results in this study render support to the use of stringent capital requirements under the Basel II and Basel III. Finally, it would be prudent for supervisory policies to include income diversification regulations thresholds among the commercial banks.

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