Technical Report Bank Diversification into the Insurance Business: The Effects of the Deregulation of the Bank-Sales Channel at Japanese Banks

KONISHI, Masaru  ,  OKUYAMA, Eiji  ,  YASUDA, Yukihiro

2016-05-26 , Hitotsubashi University Center for Financial Research
In this paper we empirically examine the diversification effects of the deregulation of bank-sales channel into the insurance business by Japanese banks. Using the Japanese unique data set on fee-based revenues, we identify separate fee-based revenues, such as insurance and/or mutual fund sales. We find that banks with a higher BIS ratio, more branches, more monopolistic power in loan market, and higher loan-to-deposit ratios tend to have shifted towards an insurance fee-based business. This indicates that bank health and branch expansion can affect the fee business strategy at each bank. We also find that banks with lower mutual fund fee revenues tend to earn more insurance fee revenues, implying that a substitute relationship has developed between them after the Global Financial Crisis of 2007. We find that banks with higher insurance revenues are positively associated with return volatilities (such as ROA and/or ROE) but are not related with total risk or Z score. The results indicate that although increased fee-based activities can increase the volatility of bank earnings, they have only had a small impact on equity and/or insolvency risks at Japanese banks.

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