Using a sample of 151 banks over the period 2003 to 2010, this paper estimates a model that examines the effect of switching costs in the Chinese loan market on banking profitability. In keeping with the extant empirical literature it reports a positive relationship between bank profitability and switching costs. Furthermore it reports the estimation of a systems model of switching costs and profitability. The main result is that bank size measured by total assets is has a complex relationship with switching costs. Competition between small banks creates the incentive for lock-in and increased switching costs whereas very large banks are less exercised by lock-in and switching costs. The study also finds that concentration has a negative relationship with switching costs and profitability, confirming the accepted view that the large state-owned banks are concerned with social as well as profit objectives.
Chinese banking switching costs bank profitability