The role that foreign banks play in developing countries has been arduously debated. Foreign banks can improve the efficiency of the banking sector in the host country but they can also undermine local banks by selecting only the most trustworthy borrowers. In this paper, I analyze the period between 2005 and 2014 and compare the differences between foreign and domestic banks in Mexico and Colombia. Analyzing Mexico is of great importance given that foreign banks control more than 80% of the banking assets. Also, given the difference in institutional development between Mexico and Colombia, I can control for regulatory environment. After controlling for size, institutional development, and country of origin, I find that foreign banks have not stimulated growth in Mexico through commercial loans. Previous studies suggest that this lack of credit to companies may be due to a weak enforcement of contracts rather than to foreign ownership. However, Colombia has a weaker enforcement of contracts environments and foreign banks also do not provide as many commercial loans as domestic banks. This paper is of particular interest to regulators in developing countries that need foreign capital and those that want to intensify the allocation of commercial credit.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics