Report

Rising Bank Concentration


Abstract: Concentration of insured deposit funding among the top four commercial banks in the U.S. has risen from 15% in 1984 to 44% in 2018, a roughly three-fold increase. Regulation has often been attributed as a factor in that increase. The Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994 removed many of the restrictions on opening bank branches across state lines. We interpret the Riegle-Neal act as lowering the cost of expanding a bank's funding base. In this paper, we build an industry equilibrium model in which banks endogenously climb a funding base ladder. Rising concentration occurs along a transition path between two steady states after branching costs decline.

Keywords: Imperfect competition; Banking industry dynamics; Bank concentration;

JEL Classification: E44; L11; G21; L13;

https://doi.org/10.21034/sr.594

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Part of Series: Staff Report

Publication Date: 2020-03-02

Number: 594

Pages: 41