The Changing Geography of Banking
Ancona, September 22-23 (*), 2006
A conference organized by
the Department of Economics - University of Ancona
and co-sponsored by
The Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research
The Bank of Italy
The Italian Banking Association (ABI)
Banca Popolare di Ancona
The Review of Finance
Two contrasting trends have emerged from the intense integration and consolidation processes that have swept the European and U.S. banking industry in the 1990s: (i) the geographical diffusion of banking structures and instruments and (ii) the geographical concentration of banking power in few centres within each country. The first occurred through the lifting of geographical restrictions on banking activity, the opening of new branches and the expansion of impersonal methods to conduct business, such as internet-banking, home-banking or phone-banking, that all contributed to greatly reduce the operational distance between banks and local communities. The second was the mechanical consequence of the many mergers and acquisitions which have shrunk the number of banks, leading to the creation of large multi-bank holding companies. This, in turn, has brought about the geographical concentration of decisional centres and strategic functions of banks, which has greatly increased the functional distance between banks and local communities.
The aim of this conference is to investigate theoretically and empirically the effects that operational and functional distances from communities may exert on banks’ lending decisions, efficiency and profitability and on local economic development. Areas of interest include the following:
  • Banking consolidation and small business lending
  • Transactional and relationship lending
  • Credit scoring and soft information
  • Distance and competition
  • Bank organisational structure
  • Banking and regional development
  • Integration of European credit markets
  • Cross-border mergers and acquisitions
  • Banking regulation.
  • (*) Please note that the dates precede those of the C.R.E.D.I.T. Conference 2006, taking place on September 25–26, 2006 in Venice