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1.1       Background of the Study

A financial system is a set of rules, regulations and the aggregation of financial arrangement, institutions and agents that interact with each other and the rest of the world to foster economic growth and development of a nation (Nzotta and Okereke, 2009). According to Nwude (2004), financial systems consist of financial markets, financial intermediaries, financial instruments, rules, conventions and norms that facilitate and regulate the flow of funds through the macro-economy. A good financial system, according to Rousseau and Sylla (2001), is one that has these five key components: (i) Sound public finances and public debt management, (ii) Stable monetary arrangement, (iii) A variety of banks some with domestic and others with international orientations and perhaps some with both orientation, (iv) Well functioning securities market, and (v) A central bank to stabilize domestic finances and manage international financial relations.

Economists argue about the relationship between the financial system and economic growth. Economic growth can be defined as the expansion of the economy through a simple widening process. It involves enhancing the productive capacity of an economy by employing available resources to reduce risks, remove impediments which otherwise could lower costs and hinder investment (Sanusi, 2011). Economic growth also refers to a sustained increase in the output of an economy (Hogendorn, 1992).

The role of the financial system in promoting economic growth generated so much controversy among scholars and practitioners. Economists hold four different views on the relationship between finance and growth: supply leading view, demand following view, bi-directional relationship and no relationship between finance and growth (Apergis, et. al., 2007). The supply leading view asserts that finance impact positively on economic growth (King and Levine, 1993; Neusser and Kugler, 1998; Levine, et. al., 2000). This theoretical stand-point is traced to the work of Schumpeter (1911), cited in Arestis and Dematriades, (1993) who argues that production requires credit to materialize, and that one can become an entrepreneur by previously becoming a debtor…what the entrepreneur first wants is purchasing power before he requires any goods. Specifically, he sees financial intermediaries as agents of growth. Demirguc-Kunt (2008) stresses that financial systems help mobilize and pool savings, provide payments services that facilitate the exchange of goods and services, produce and process information about investors and investment projects to enable efficient allocation of funds, monitor investments and exert corporate governance after these funds are allocated, and help diversify, transform and manage risk. The financial system, as opined by Miller (1998), plays a very crucial role in alleviating money frictions and, hence, influencing savings rate, investment decisions, technological innovations and long-run growth rate.

Contrary to the view of Schumpeter and other scholars on the importance of finance to economic growth is Robinson’s (1952), cited in Levine (2004) who stresses that finance simply follows growth and that where enterprise leads, finance follows. She argues that although growth may be constrained by credit creation in less developed financial systems, in more sophisticated systems, finance is viewed as endogenous responding to demand requirements. The demand following view states that finance actually responds to changes in the real sector and that economic growth creates a demand for developed financial institutions and services (Jung, 1986).

The third view supports the bi-directional relationship between financial system and economic growth (Demetriades and Hussein, 1996; Greenwood and Smith, 1997). Finally, proponents of the last view reject the existence of a finance-growth relationship (Lucas, 1988).

The debate revolves around the role of bank and capital market in promoting economic growth. Among scholars who support the view on the importance of financial system to economic growth came a different line of argument. This centered on the categorization of the financial system into bank-based and market-based and the comparative importance of both systems to economic growth. Attempts were made to find out whether one type of financial system better promotes economic growth than the other (Arestis, et. al., 2005). Using data from UK and US as market-based versus Japan and Germany as bank-based, studies have shown the relevance of financial structure, that is the degree to which a financial system is bank-based or market-based to economic growth (Hoshi, et. al., 1991; Mork and Nakkrumura, 1999; Weinstein and Yafeh, 1998; and Arestis, et. al., 2001). However, this relevance has been criticized since these countries in the past have shared similar growth. This has widened the debate along four competing theories of financial structure; bank-based view, market-based view, financial services-based view and legal based view.

The bank-based view emphasizes the importance of banks in identifying good projects, mobilizing resources, monitoring managers, and managing risk while stressing the deficiency of market-based economies. It points out the short-coming of the market-based financial system as revealing information publicly, thereby reducing incentives for investors to seek and acquire information. Information asymmetries are thus accentuated, more so in market-based rather than in bank-based financial systems (Arestis, et. al., 2005). The bank-based view therefore, stresses the importance of financial intermediation in ameliorating information asymmetries and inter-temporal cost. Information asymmetries may introduce inefficiency in the system and reduce the level of activity, increase sensitivity to disturbances such as changes in the riskless interest rate and or in productivity (Gertley, 1988). According to the bank-based view, bank-based financial systems, especially, in countries at an early stage of economic development, are more effective at fostering growth than market-based financial systems.  Levine (2004) posits that financial intermediaries improve   (i) acquisition of information on firms,   (ii) intensity with which creditors exert corporate control, (iii) provision of risk reducing arrangements, (iv) pooling of capital, and (v) ease of making transaction.

The bank based financial system is seen to be in a better position to address agency problems and short-termism than the market-based (Stiglitz, 1985; Singh, 1997). Furthermore, banks may be more effective in providing external resources to new firms that require stage financing because banks can more plausibly commit to making additional funding available as the project develops than markets that may have more difficult time in making credible, long term commitment.

Arestis and Demetriades (1993) assert that the basic features of a bank-based financial system are; Close involvement of banks with industrial firms, Companies having committed and knowledgeable shareholders with strong bank presence on management boards and Companies relying on bank loans and not so much on equity with banks exercising important monitoring roles.

The market-based view on the other hand highlights the positive role of market and stresses the problem with the bank-based view. Powerful banks can stymie innovation by extracting informational rents and protecting established firms with close bank-firm ties from competition (Hellwig, 1991; Rajan, 1992). It further stresses that powerful banks with few regulatory restrictions on their activities may collude with firm managers against other creditors and impede efficient corporate governance (Hellwig, 1991; Wenger and Kaserer, 1998). According to the market-based view, markets reduce the inherent inefficiencies associated with banks and enhance economic growth (Levine, 2002). Stock market influences information acquisition, corporate control, risk management and savings mobilization (Levine, 2000). It contributes to economic growth by enhancing liquidity of capital investments (Levine, 1997). A liquid equity market allows savers to sell their shares easily if they so desire thereby making shares relatively more attractive investments. According to Osinibu (1998), the stock market is an economic institution, which promotes efficiency in capital formation and allocation. It enables governments and industry to raise long-term capital for financing new projects, and expanding and modernizing industrial or commercial concerns. If capital resources are not provided to those economic areas, especially industries where demand is growing and which are capable of increasing production and productivity, the rate of expansion of the economy often suffers. As countries pass through stages of development, they become more market-based than bank-based (Boyd and Smith, 1998).

Arestis and Demetriades (1993) assert that the basic feature of a market-based financial system is having highly developed markets. Most external long-term funds are raised from the capital market which is an open and active market in encouraging mergers and takeovers. This market provides substantial amounts of financing to industries.

The financial service view supports neither the bank-based nor the market based financial structure but sees the importance of both systems in promoting economic growth. These financial systems do not compete but exist to ameliorate different cost (Levine, 2000).  According to the financial services view, both financial systems should be seen as complementing each other rather than substituting. This view stresses the importance of creating an enabling environment where these financial systems can provide sound financial services rather than distinguishing between the two.

The Legal based view is an extension of the financial services based view and it posits that it is the overall level and quality of financial system as determined by the legal system that helps improve the efficient allocation of resources and economic growth. It argues that a well functioning legal system facilitates the operations of both banks and markets (Laporta, et. al., 1997, 1998, 1999).

Earlier works along this line used cross-country data. Researchers were encouraged to broaden the argument along individual country, particularly developing countries in order to capture individual country peculiarities. In Nigeria case studies, some works examine financial system and growth along four theories of financial structure; bank-based, market-based, financial services and legal-based in order to ascertain which theory is most consistent with the Nigerian financial system (Olofin and Afangindeh, 2008; Sabiu, et. al., 2009; Ujunwa, et. al., 2012). It remains inconclusive as to which components of the financial system better promotes economic growth. This study therefore sought to assess bank-based and market-based financial systems in order to ascertain their impact on economic growth in Nigeria.

1.2       Statement of Problem

One of the problems militating against the rapid growth of developing economies is the inadequate provision of investible funds. To this direction, it has been posited that the Nigerian financial system, like those of other developing countries particularly in the Sub-Saharan Africa, has overtime remained weak and a cause for concern to policy makers (Adejuwon and Kehinde, 2011). Policy makers in addressing this issue have come up with several financial reforms which have focused more on the banking sector without paying adequate attention to the capital market. For instance, Recapitalization and Consolidation exercise in the banking sector, bail-out of banks without equal concession to the capital market even though it was affected drastically by the global economic melt-down, Removal of corrupt bank directors among others.

The capital market which is also an important segment of the financial system seems to have been neglected despite the crucial role it played during the bank recapitalization and consolidation in Nigeria. Al Faki (2006) puts the figure that was raised by banks from the capital market as N406.4 billion. Since then, many banks have gone to the capital market to raise additional capital for purposes such as expansion and enhancement of operational efficiency through investment in Information Communication Technology (Donwa, P. and J. Odia, 2011). This emphasis on the banking sector which portrays Nigeria as having a bank-based financial system now raises an important research question: Does one segment of the financial system better promote economic growth than the other?

Some studies in Nigeria have examined the structure of the Nigerian financial system based on the bank-based and market-based financial systems view. The bank-based view sees banks as being better at promoting economic growth than the market while the market-based view says the markets are better at promoting economic growth.(Sabiu, et. al., 2009; Olofin and Afangideh, 2008; Ujunwa, et. al., 2012). Some of their findings classified the Nigerian financial system as bank-based and suggest that government should intensify efforts at promoting banking stability. The basic feature of a bank-based financial system is the close involvement of banks with industries through long-term financing but banks in Nigeria do not have much of such close ties with industries. A market-based financial system is characterized by highly developed market but the Nigerian capital market is still developing.

It therefore becomes imperative to investigate bank-based and market-based financial systems in Nigeria with a view to ascertaining their adequacy as stimulators of economic growth.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The objective of this study is to assess the impact of the financial system on economic growth in Nigeria based on bank-based and market-based financial system views. To achieve this, the study sought to fulfill the following specific objectives;

  1. To investigate the impact of bank credit to private sectors on economic growth in Nigeria.

  2. To assess the impact of bank assets on economic growth in Nigeria.

  3. To investigate the impact of total value of shares traded on economic growth in Nigeria.

  4. To assess the impact of market capitalization on economic growth in Nigeria.

1.4       Research Questions

This study sought to provide answers to the following research questions:

  1. To what extent does bank credit to private sectors impact on economic growth in Nigeria?

  2. To what degree do bank assets impact on economic growth in Nigeria?

  3. To what extent does total value of shares traded impact on economic growth in Nigeria?

  4. How does market capitalization impact on economic growth in Nigeria?

1.5    Research Hypotheses

To achieve the above objectives, the following hypotheses were formulated and tested:

  1. Banks’ credit to private sector does not have a positive and significant impact on economic growth in Nigeria.

  2. Bank assets do not have a positive and significant impact on economic growth in Nigeria.

  3. Total value of shares traded does not have a positive and significant impact on economic growth in Nigeria.

  4. Market capitalization does not have a positive and significant impact on economic growth in Nigeria.

1.6       Scope of the Study

This study examined the Nigerian financial system and economic growth based on bank-based and market-based financial system views. The aggregate data were collected from Central Bank of Nigeria statistical bulletin, Nigerian Stock Exchange annual reports and statements of account and Central Bank of Nigeria annual reports and statements of accounts. The specific data include banks’ credit to the private sector, bank total assets, total value of shares traded, total market capitalization and real gross domestic product.

The study covered the period 1991-2010. In the year 1991, following the spate of large scale distress in the financial system, the banks and other financial institutions Decree 25 (BOFID) was promulgated to monitor the operations of the banking and financial sector and reduce the tide of distress. The Central Bank of Nigeria Decree of 1991 was also promulgated. This decree expanded the functions of the Central Bank granting it greater autonomy in monetary policy and repealed the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 1958. The Inter-ministerial Committee on the Nigerian Capital Market recommended the discontinuation of official pricing of securities as well as the establishment of more stock exchanges in 1991.

1.7      Significance of the Study

Most works done along this line have always been cross-country studies among developed countries but this study is on an individual country Nigeria which is still at its development stage. This study therefore is expected to be of immense benefits to the following:

Financial System Regulators: This study will assist regulators such as the Central Bank of Nigeria and Securities and Exchange Commission in making policies that are geared towards developing the Nigeria financial system to enable them compete with their counterparts in other countries.

Government: This study will also be of benefit to the government in ensuring long-term macroeconomic stability and creating conducive environment for both investors and savers to ensure confidence in the Nigerian financial system.

Body of academia: In the academic arena, this study will contribute to the enrichment of the literature on financial system and economic growth. It will also serve as a body of reserved knowledge to be referred to by researchers.

1.8 Limitation of the study

Due to unavailability of data, this study did not include other indicators of bank-based and market-based financial systems such as net interest margin, overhead cost, Liquid liability and turnover ratio. It also did not include other components of the Nigerian financial system such as Insurance companies, Finance houses, Mortgage banks, among others.


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