Determinants of Non-Resident Deposits in Commercial Banks: Empirical Evidence from Lebanon

  •  Olga Kanj    
  •  Rim El Khoury    


Given the fact that the government debt is financed by commercial banks in Lebanon, there is a need to uncover and study the determinants of commercial bank deposits. This paper investigates empirically the main determinants of non-residents deposits in Lebanese commercial banks using monthly time series data covering January 2002 to January 2013 (131 observations). The necessary tests were performed so that the ordinary least square regression can be safely applied. The estimated model had non-resident deposits as the dependent variables, and the explanatory variables as internal factors, external variables, and bank specific variables. The dependent variable was measured in three ways: in the local currency, in foreign currency, and total non-resident deposits. The results show that non-residents’ deposits are shaped differently between domestic and foreign currency. For instance, bank assets, interest rates, and some adverse political situations affect non-resident deposits in all its measures. However, while total non-resident deposits and foreign non-residents deposits are roughly affected by the same factors, local resident deposits seem to be affected by other factors; this fact is attributed to the fact that local currency deposits account for a small percentage of total non-resident deposits. Based on the results, several policy implications were drawn that aim at increasing non-resident deposits. First, the stability of macroeconomic system should be maintained. Second, the government should maintain healthy rate differentials to support the deposit growth. Lastly, Lebanese banks should search for internalization to diversify their losses.

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