Review of Development Finance, Volume 6, Issue 1,June 2016
A key feature of financial services liberalization is the increasing presence of foreign banks in a nation. This study examines the impact of banking sector globalization on bank profits and cost efficiency by using a panel of 169 nations spanning 1998–2013. Employing both fixed-effects and GMM estimations, and including banking-industry and macroeconomic controls, I find greater banking-sector globalization to reduce both profits and cost inefficiency, thereby reflecting increased competitiveness and informational asymmetries in host markets, as well as assimilation of better technology, managerial practices by domestic banks. The results are further examined for nations across different levels of economic development and with different degrees of foreign bank presence. Only in emerging markets and in nations with more than 50% foreign banks, greater banking sector globalization positively affects profits. From a policy perspective, the findings call for banking regulatory authorities to implement polices to reduce informational asymmetries in host markets.