Alternative banking: Theory and evidence from Europe

Vol. 32 No. 4 (2012)

Oct-Dec / 2012
Published October 1, 2012

How to Cite

Mettenheim, Kurt Von, and Olivier Butzbach. 2012. “Alternative Banking: Theory and Evidence from Europe”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 32 (4):580-96.

Alternative banking: Theory and evidence from Europe

Kurt Von Mettenheim
Professor at Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo, Fundação Getulio Vargas.
Olivier Butzbach
Lecturer, King’s College, London amd professor da University of Napoli II.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 32 No. 4 (2012), Oct-Dec / 2012, Pages 580-596


Since financial liberalization in the 1980s, non-profit maximizing, stakeholder-oriented banks have outperformed private banks in Europe. This article draws on empirical research, banking theory and theories of the firm to explain this apparent anomaly for neo-liberal policy and contemporary market-based banking theory. The realization of competitive advantages by alternative banks (savings banks, cooperative banks and development banks) has significant implications for conceptions of bank change, regulation and political economy. 

JEL Classification: G21.

Keywords: cooperative banks savings banks development banks banking theory banking systems bank performance bank ownership