This paper aims to make an empirical contribution to the discussion of the role of banks and to find out if banking is a declining industry. It takes into account that the role of banks is declining in the United States and the fact that the American economy usually sets the trend for the other economies. This implies that there are increasing trends of disintermediation, securitization and an increase in the importance of nonbank financial intermediaries (Schmidt, Hackethal and Tyrell 1997). This paper seeks to find out if this is indeed the case in the U.S and if so then is it happening in other European and African economies. Another important reason for this study is to find out what factors are causing the structures of financial systems to change and what impact these changes have on financial institution intermediation. Comparisons are made between developed countries in Europe and developing countries in Africa to observe the trends of intermediation/disintermediation.
Financial intermediation, Securitization, Banks