Bank productivity and sources of efficiency change: a case of the four largest banks in South Africa

09 September 2014

The Malmquist productivity index was utilised to estimate the total factor productivity and productivity change of the four largest banks in South Africa for the period 1994 to 2010. Total factor productivity change can be decomposed into efficiency change and technological change, which allow for determining the sources of total factor productivity change. Various changes in the South African banking scene impacted on the average productivity of the banks. The four banks experienced, on average, regress in total factor productivity as well as regress in technological change, the latter indicating a lack of innovation. The four banks operated, on average, in the proximity of fully technical efficiency. For various reasons, South Africa still has a large ‘unbanked’ community.