Journal of Financial Services Research

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 5-36

First online:

Potential Competitive Effects of Basel II on Banks in SME Credit Markets in the United States

  • Allen N. BergerAffiliated withBoard of Governors of the Federal Reserve SystemWharton Financial Institutions Center Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


We examine the likely competitive effects of implementation of Basel II capital requirements on banks in the market for credit to SMEs in the U.S. Similar competitive effects from Basel II may occur for other credits and financial instruments in the U.S. and other nations. We address whether reduced risk weights for SME credits extended by large banking organizations that adopt the Advanced Internal Ratings-Based (A-IRB) approach of Basel II might significantly adversely affect the competitive positions of other organizations. The analyses suggest only relatively minor competitive effects on most community banks because the large A-IRB adopters tend to make very different types of SME loans to different types of borrowers than community banks. However, there may be significant adverse effects on the competitive positions of large non-A-IRB banking organizations because the data do not suggest any strong segmentation in SME credit markets among large organizations.

Key words

Banks capital requirements SMEs Basel II