43rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Peripheries, Centres, and Spatial Development in the New Europe", 27th - 30th August 2003, Jyväskylä, Finland
In Finland there was huge reduction in number of bank branches during the 1990's which seems to be stabilized during last few years and even some new bank branches has been founded. In this paper I analyze the locations of bank branches in Finland by using municipality level data containing both economic and geographic variables. At first I analyze banks' entry/exit by the area-basis. Then the concentration in analysis moves to branch network strategies of bank groups, i.e. what is the typical office network strategy of centrally managed bank groups and how bank groups with decentralized decision-making differ from that, and what are the geographic core market areas of the bank groups. At last the differences in bank office service availability between Finnish provinces is analyzed in the light of previous results. Data used in analysis is panel containing bank branch numbers for each bank group in municipality, and population, geographic and economic features of municipalities in years 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001.