Journal of Financial Services Research

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 101–126

Concentration of Banking Relationships in Switzerland: The Result of Firm Structure or Banking Market Structure?


    • Department of EconomicsUniversity of Rostock
  • Maurice Pedergnana
    • IFZ Institute for Financial Services ZugUniversity of Applied Sciences Central Switzerland
  • Solvig Räthke-Döppner
    • Department of EconomicsUniversity of Rostock

DOI: 10.1007/s10693-008-0026-7

Cite this article as:
Neuberger, D., Pedergnana, M. & Räthke-Döppner, S. J Finan Serv Res (2008) 33: 101. doi:10.1007/s10693-008-0026-7


Switzerland is one of the countries with the highest concentration of bank–customer relationships. The present paper seeks to find out whether this can be explained by the structure of Swiss firms or by the organization of the Swiss banking market. Using survey data from small and medium-sized enterprises in 1996 and 2002, we examine the influence of firm-, loan-, and bank-specific variables on the number of banking relationships. We find that firm and industry structure have the largest explanatory power, while banking market structure and conduct play a minor role. Relationship lending by state-owned cantonal banks and small regional banks tends to enhance the concentration of banking relationships.


Relationship lendingmultiple bank relationshipsbanking market structuresmall business finance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008