Establishing the Contributing Factors to the Resurrection of PIIGS Banks Following the Crisis: A Panel Data Analysis

Esteban Miguélez, Jonathan Spiteri, Simon Grima
International Journal of Economics & Business Administration, Volume VII, Issue 1, 3-34, 2019


In this article, we analyse empirically the factors that allowed for the improvement and strengthening of the banking systems in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain (known as the PIIGS) during the post-financial crisis period 2011-2016. We use panel data on 200 banks and measure their financial soundness using the z-score. Our results show that the improvement is mainly due to managerial factors. To ensure stability, banks must monitor their loans and avoid non-performing loans. The public authorities should try to control banks’ size, encouraging medium-sized banks since these tend to perform better on average while limiting the existence of banks, whose size and importance (despite economies of scale) can destabilize the entire system in case of bankruptcy. Finally, different from previous studies, we include herein the refinancing programmes into the analysis of financial soundness and show that the financial assistance programs have been necessary to ensure the recovery of the banking systems.

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