The purpose of this paper is to assess the importance of geographical location in the banking sector efficiency of the Sino-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region, and how the location was affected before, during and after the financial crisis. Using a panel of data from 407 banks from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam from 2000–2013, this study applies data envelopment analysis, Tobit regression, bootstrapping, and Simar and Wilson double bootstrapping regression. The empirical evidence suggests that the banking market has an important and significant role in the efficiency of the banking sector in the Sino-ASEAN region. The significant country’s coefficients suggest that during the pre-crisis period, banks belonging to China and Indonesia were more likely to be efficient due to the geographical location effect. The study finds the same tendency among Chinese banks in the crisis period as in the period before the crisis. Overall, the results suggest that Chinese banks outperform banks from the ASEAN countries in terms of efficiency. This study raises some significant policy implications for improving bank efficiency.
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