Empirical studies on the performance of banks: A systematic literature review for future research

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Published Jul 1, 2020
S G Sisira Dharmasri Jayasekara
Wasantha Perera
Roshan Ajward


This paper intends to review research on the performance of banks to identify gaps in the current body of knowledge to justify future research directions. We use a systematic literature review method and review 164 articles from refereed journals. Content analysis reveals that most of the studies are empirical focusing on two aspects i.e. financial performance and efficiency of banks. These studies consider the impact of particular events and contexts on performance and efficiency while testing research hypotheses. However, often there is a lack of a theoretical backing for these studies. We argue that the considered events and contexts affect the risk transformation process under the financial intermediation theory. The efficiency of banks reflects the risk transformation process and causes performance. On the other hand, traditional performance indicators were based on financial measures that do not reflect the components of the risk transformation process. A sound comprehensive risk-based composite measure is required to fill this gap.

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Jayasekara, S. G. S. D., Perera, K. L. W., & Ajward, R. (2020). Empirical studies on the performance of banks: A systematic literature review for future research. Journal of Research in Emerging Markets, 2(4), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.30585/jrems.v2i4.535
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systematic literature review, financial intermediation, efficiency, performance, banks



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