An industry with a large number of small firms is usually through to be highly competitive. Is that supposition true of the banking industry? What are the cost and benefits to consumers of the current structure of the U.S. banking industry?
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I'm with #3; there are any number of small banks still operating as well as local credit unions. I don't personally know anyone who uses a traditional bank; everyone has switched to credit unions, which are legitimately competitive with the banking system. Still, the more options, the more the bank or credit union has to appeal with their service; I avoid BOA and others because of their failure to put the customer first.
It depends a lot on the context, as other editors above have noted. The concept of the economy of scale is key, as we have found that larger businesses without a small number of separate wings are actually able to do things cheaper and more efficiently because of their size and financial clout.
Much depends upon how strong the anti-monopoly and anti-price-fixing legislation is that applies to the banks. Banks are in an especially good position to lobby politicians so that the marketplace is less competitive than it might otherwise be.
When it comes to banking, there is quite a bit of competition among each other. They have to compete for customers.However, they are all starting from a position of wealth and considerable power. For example, think of the interest rates that they charge on credit cards. And now consider the interest they pay on accounts! It is robbery in many ways. This is why Elizabeth Warren wants the government to regulate this area. In light of this, I would say that they are not competitive enough.
This is really only true if there are no economies of scale in the industry. If there are economies of scale, then larger firms are able to provide goods or services for lower prices. I would argue that there are economies of scale in banking that make it easier, for example, for large banks to offer cheap credit cards to their customers.
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