International standards and norms in banking regulations have, once again, leapt to the forefront of policy discussions in developed nations due to the recent crisis in the world’s financial markets. These discussions are not new, nor do they apply exclusively to the world’s most advanced economies. A sound and well-enforced regulatory regime can help developing nations to channel financial resources more efficiently into investments. For open economies, it can also act as a buffer and an important stability factor in today’s shaky market situation. Against this background, this study examines the impact of banking sector regulations on bank efficiency and economic growth in four Southern Mediterranean countries – Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia – while exploring the level of convergence of regulatory practices and efficiency to EU Mediterranean standards.
This report was written by Rym Ayadi, Senior Research Fellow at CEPS, Emrah Arbak, CEPS Researcher, Barbara Casu Lukac, Reader in Banking at the Cass Business School in London and Sami Ben Naceur, Associate Professor at the University of Tunis. Country expertise was provided by Mohammed Yazid Boumghar, Researcher at the Centre de recherche en économie appliquée pour le développement (CREAD) in Algeria, Jawad Kerdoudi, President of Institut Marocain des Relations Internationales (IMRI) in Morocco and Moez Labidi, Director of Research, Applied Economics and Simulation, Faculty of Economics and Management in Mahdia, University of Monastir, Tunisia.