The determinants of conventional banks profitability in developing and underdeveloped OIC countries


  • Ahmad Al-Harbi Saudi Arabia Ministry of Economy and Planning, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Profitability, Conventional banks, External factors, Internal factors


Purpose. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of internal and external variables on the profitability of conventional banks operating on developing and underdeveloped countries, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) states.

Design/methodology/approach. In this paper, the author uses ordinary least squares fixed-effects model on an unbalanced panel data set of all conventional banks operating in OIC countries (52 countries included from 57) over the period 1989-2008, 686 banks.

Findings. The results suggest that equity, foreign ownership, off-balance sheet (OBS) activities, real gross domestic product growth, real interest rate and concentration foster banks’ profitability. In addition, the results showed that the banking sector development and loans will increase banks’ profitability in the long run in the countries of the studies. In contrast, the study reported that deposits lower profitability. The study also revealed that GDP per capita, market capitalization and banks size have no impact on profitability.

Practical implications: The findings of this study have considerable policy implications. First, policymakers need to regulate nontraditional activities to avoid any financial crisis because banks in OIC countries are heavily engaged in nontraditional activities to boost its profit. Second, policymakers are advised to improve the deposit insurance system to insure the stability of the financial system as well as improving banks’ profitability. Third, policymakers need to improve the efficiency of the stock market, maintain small banking system and encourage foreign investments in the banking system.

Originality/value: The paper adds to the literature on the commercial bank’s profitability determinants. In particular, such study has not been conducted on OIC countries, and the study included all mainstream banks and incorporated the effect of deposit insurance system so far. Also, pure sample of conventional banks used as many conventional banks in OIC countries have Islamic windows or offer Islamic products. In addition, this study investigated the effect of OBS activities on net interest margin (NIM) because the studies that explored this interrelationship are limited especially for developing and under developed countries. The results showed that OBS activities contributed significantly and positively to return on assets and NIM. Moreover, this paper used a pure sample of conventional banks to avoid any biasness; see data section. Moreover, this study gives an idea about the economic situation and financial conditions of OIC countries during the period of the study.



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How to Cite

Al-Harbi, A. . (2019). The determinants of conventional banks profitability in developing and underdeveloped OIC countries. Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Science, 24(47), 4–28. Retrieved from