Convergence of Bank Regulations on International Norms in the Southern Mediterranean: Impact on Bank Performance and Growth

International standards and norms in banking regulations have, once again, leapt to the forefront of policy discussions in developed nations due to the recent crisis in the world’s financial markets. These discussions are not new, nor do they apply exclusively to the world’s most advanced economies. A sound and well-enforced regulatory regime can help developing nations to channel financial resources more efficiently into investments. For open economies, it can also act as a buffer and an important stability factor in today’s shaky market situation. Against this background, this study examines the impact of banking sector regulations on bank efficiency and economic growth in four Southern Mediterranean countries – Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia – while exploring the level of convergence of regulatory practices and efficiency to EU Mediterranean standards.