The peculiarity of the cooperative and mutual model: evidence from the european banking sector

Vincenzo Pacelli, Francesca Pampurini*, Stefania Sylos Labini

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


The crucial role of mutual banks in promoting local development is highlighted by an extensive theoretical and empirical literature. The historical success of mutual banks derives not only from their specific business model, but also from their peculiar and distinguishing corporate governance with member ownership. According to a copious literature, these features have probably allowed mutual banks to better withstand financial crisis. This work compares the cost efficiency of European mutual banks by analyzing a sample which consists of the universe of all the banks operating in Italy, Germany, France and Spain over the period 2011 – 2016, by employing a stochastic approach (Stochastic Frontier Analysis-SFA) to determine the effects of the recent financial crisis on the efficiency level of this particular kind of bank. The analysis aims to point out the determinants of efficiency in order to understand if the mutual model reveals to be still attractive in the modern banking system. The main contribution of the paper to previous literature consists in comparing different impacts of financial crisis on efficiency of mutual banks in main European countries. Furthermore, the results enrich the recent debate about the cooperative and mutual banking system and its raison d' etre. Our results show that the European mutual banks reveal a higher degree of efficiency with respect to commercial banks. Cost efficiency appears to be significantly and negatively related to the level of regulatory capital, the level of credit risk, the level of leverage and the cost-income ratio. On the other hand, it is significantly and positively related to the profitability of the traditional lending activity, to the level of prudence in terms of provisions against credit risk and to the amount of liquidity as a buffer against unexpected troubles.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-29
Numero di pagine29
RivistaJournal of Financial Management, Markets and Institutions
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019


  • Commercial banks
  • Cooperative banks
  • Efficiency
  • Stochastic Frontier Approach


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