COVID 19 and Bank Profitability in Low Income Countries: The Case of Uganda
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This study investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on banking sector profitability in Uganda for the period spanning Q1 2000 to Q1 2021, using the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL Bound) testing approach to co-integration while controlling for bank specific and macroeconomic determinants of bank profitability. Bank profitability is proxied by return on assets (ROA), return on equity (ROE), and net interest margin (NIM). The study finds that the COVID 19 pandemic has a significant negative effect on bank profitability only in the long run. Generally, the explanatory variables used in the study have short run and long run effects on bank profitability, although the impact is not uniform across the different measures of bank profitability. In the short run, bank profitability is generally negatively and significantly affected by the non-performing loans ratio, liquidity ratio, and market sensitivity risk, while the Treasury Bill interest rate and lending rate have a significant positive effect on bank profitability. In addition, the study finds that bank profitability has a tendency to persist in the short run, although persistence is only moderate, suggesting that the Ugandan banking sector may not have large deviations from a perfectly competitive market structure. In the long run, bank profitability is broadly positively and significantly affected by the non-performing loan ratio;, real GDP, lending rate and Treasury Bill interest rate while market sensitivity risk and the exchange rate significantly and negatively affect bank profitability. Surprisingly, the study finds inflation does not significantly affect bank profitability over both the short- and long-term.
- Social Sciences