This paper examines the effect of both de jure and de facto measures of financial integration on bank profitability in five regional economic communities of Africa.
Using panel data from 405 banks operating in 47 African countries across five regional economic communities over 2007–2014, the study constructs a composite measure of bank profitability. The study then employs the dynamic two-step system GMM estimation technique to test the effect of both de jure and de facto measures of financial integration on bank profitability in Africa and across five sub-regional markets.
Overall, the results support a positive relationship between financial integration and overall bank profitability in Africa, except for the Arab Maghreb Union and Southern Africa Development Community.
The findings of this study suggest that increased financial integration in Africa directly improves bank’s overall profitability and the variations among the sub-regional markets inform tailored policy initiatives.
To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study on Africa to employ a composite measure of bank profitability to assess its determinants. It is also the first to include both de facto and de jure financial integration measures in a single study. This is also the first largest comparative study on bank profitability in Africa.
The authors wish to acknowledge the editorial team of the International Journal of Emerging Markets and Emerald Publishing for providing the platform for them to share their work. They are also grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions.
Banyen, K. and Biekpe, N. (2021), "Financial integration and bank profitability in five regional economic communities in Africa", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 468-491. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOEM-08-2018-0435
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