Based on a sample of cooperative, savings, and commercial banks from OECD countries, this paper examines whether and to what extent cooperative banks affected average bank soundness during 2001–2010. To account for the impact of the recent financial crisis, we analyse separately the pre‐crisis period (2001–2006) and crisis years (2007–2010). Unlike published claims that blame the fragility of banking systems on the presence of non–profit‐maximising entities, our main finding is that cooperative banks have explanatory power for stabilisation during the crisis years, but only above a certain market share threshold.
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