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Are European banks too big? Evidence on economies of scale

Elena Beccalli, Mario Anolli and Giuliana Borello

Journal of Banking & Finance, 2015, vol. 58, issue C, 232-246

Abstract: In light of the policy debate on too-big-to-fail we investigate evidence of economies of scale for 103 European listed banks over 2000–2011. Using the Stochastic Frontier Approach, the results show that economies of scale are widespread across different size classes of banks and are especially large for the biggest banks. At the country level, banks operating in the smallest financial systems and the countries most affected by the financial crises realize the lowest scale economies (including diseconomies) due to the reduction in production capacity. As for the determinants of scale economies, these mainly emanate from banks oriented toward investment banking, with higher liquidity, lower Tier 1 capital, those that contributed less to systemic risk during the crises, and those with too-big-to-fail status.

Keywords: Bank; Economies of scale; Regulation; Too-big-to-fail; EU (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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