Move a little closer? Information sharing and the spatial clustering of bank branches

Shusen Qi, Ralph De Haas, Steven Ongena, Stefan Straetmans

Research output: Working paper / PreprintDiscussion paper


We study how information sharing between banks influences the geographical clustering of branches. We construct a spatial oligopoly model with price competition that explains why bank branches cluster and how the introduction of information sharing impacts clustering. Dynamic data on 59,333 branches operated by 676 banks in 22 countries between 1995 and 2012 allow us to test the hypotheses derived from our model. We find that information sharing spurs banks to open branches in localities that are new to them, but that are already well served by other banks. Information sharing also allows firms to borrow from more distant banks.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherCentER, Tilburg University
Number of pages55
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2018

Publication series

SeriesCentER Discussion Paper Series

JEL classifications

  • d43 - Market Structure and Pricing: Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
  • g21 - "Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages"
  • g28 - Financial Institutions and Services: Government Policy and Regulation
  • l13 - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
  • r51 - Finance in Urban and Rural Economies


  • Branch branches
  • information sharing
  • spatial clustering
  • clustering
  • locality
  • price competition
  • oligopoly

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