The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We use data for more than 2,600 European banks to test whether increased competition causes banks to hold higher capital ratios. Employing panel data techniques, and distinguishing between the competitive conduct of small and large banks, we show that banks tend to hold higher capital ratios when operating in a more competitive environment. This result holds when controlling for the degree of concentration in banking systems, inter-industry competition, characteristics of the wider financial system, and the regulatory and institutional environment.