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Submitted by alessandra dal colle on
I would like to offer my contribution to the debate on bank competition and access to finance (which should lead to economic growth) on two fronts. First as an "insider" (I work in risk management of a commercial bank) I would like to suggest a possible intepretation of your finding "concentration measures are not reliable predictors of firms’ access to finance, which is in line with previous contradictory evidence." Recent banking and economic crises as well as Basel II and III requirements are pushing commercial banks towards a higher "capital intensity" which is also reached by M&A hence leading to a high concentration. Capital is needed both to meet regulatory requirements as well as for investments in the lending technology of the banks which has necessarily become more quantitative, i.e. computer based. All big banks in Basel-compliant countries are "kindly suggested" by the regulatory authorities to adopt such quantitative lending and risk management "advanced" systems. Firms will have to comply with this information requirements when they apply for a loan in any big bank in such countries. So if there are few or many banks, it does not really matter to firms because all banks (and small ones to will have to comply in due course) will behave that way. As a "outsider" I would like to offer my paper which will be discussed tomorrow at 2012 Money, Macro and Finance conference in Dublin (Ireland) which links the regime of competition in the financial sector to the economy fundamentals to establish a link between financial development and economic growth.