Branching and competition in the European banking industry
In this study branching costs and competitiveness of European banks are measured by fitting a monopolistic competition model to a representative sample drawn from nine EEC banking industries in the period from 1990 to 1996. In the theoretical model, banks decide strategically the size of their branching network anticipating the degree of competition faced on interest rates. From the structural equations of the model an econometric test is derived in order to measure branching costs and degree of competition in banking services. The empirical analysis captures their changing over time together with the impact of various European directives aiming at deregulating the banking industry. Furthermore the study shows persistence of segmentation acoss EEC banking industries.