Title: The strategic paths and performances of Italian mutual banks: a nonparametric analysis

Authors: Francesco Zen, Cinzia Baldan

Addresses: Department of Economic Sciences, University of Padova, Via del Santo, 33 – 35123 Padova, Italy. ' Department of Economic Sciences, University of Padova, Via del Santo, 33 – 35123 Padova, Italy

Abstract: This paper investigates an Italian group of Mutual Banks (MBs) over the period 2001–2005. We identify homogeneous groups by cluster analysis and then measure their performance ratios. We evaluate the groups| efficiency and productivity by means of nonparametric techniques (Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and Luenberger Indicator). Finally, we assess the strategic positioning in order to identify the competitive rank of each group. The aim of the study is to offer an innovative perspective of analysis that combines different methods. The integration of statistical and managerial analyses enables us to establish the competitive positioning of each group in the selected market and yields some suggestions for the assessment of banks. The results obtained reveal a prevailing trend towards |traditional intermediation|, which is not always matched by the highest efficiency and productivity scores. Most MBs pursue strategies linked with |conservative policies|, which are not always suited to ensuring competitiveness in the credit market.

Keywords: banking; cluster analysis; data envelopment analysis; DEA; bank efficiency; Luenberger Indicator; mutual banks; productivity; Italy; performance ratios; credit market.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBAAF.2008.020648

International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance, 2008 Vol.1 No.2, pp.189 - 214

Available online: 07 Oct 2008 *

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