Schlüter, Tobias Busch, Ramona Hartmann-Wendels, Thomas Sievers, Sönke
Year of Publication:
Discussion Paper, Deutsche Bundesbank 26/2012
This article examines the loan rate-setting behavior of German banks for a large variety of retail and corporate loan products. We find that a bank's operational efficiency is priced in bank loan rates and alters interest-setting behavior. Specifically, we establish that a higher degree of operational efficiency leads to lower loan markups, which involve more competitive prices, and smoothed interest rate-setting. This study contributes to prior literature that has been suggesting this relationship but has produced mixed findings. For the German market this relationship is unexplored. By employing stochastic frontier analysis to comprehensively capture cost efficiency, we take the bank customers' perspective and demonstrate the extent to which borrowers benefit from cost efficient banking.