Bank profitability has been extensively investigated in the recent literature. There is still no consensus among researchers, practitioners, or policymakers regarding the key factors that affect bank profitability due to the different legal, socio-economic, and technical contexts in which banks operate. In this paper, we survey 65 studies on bank profitability covering the banking systems in the US, the EU, and the rest of the world (RoW) which investigated the role of bank specific, industry specific and macroeconomic drivers. We classify the existing studies according to the chosen profitability measure (ROA or ROE), sample size (small or large), and time frame (long term or short term), and identify the various factors (drivers) which affect the profitability measure. The main aim is to identify some common factors driving bank profitability by size or geographic area.
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