The study analyses market perception about the performance of Pakistani commercial banks due to financial liberalisation and deregulation measures taken by the central bank over the last two decades. For this purpose, it uses Survey approach. To augment the results of Survey Based Approach, it employs Distribution Free Approach to measure relative cost inefficiencies of commercial banks. Out of 35 commercial banks, 15 banks have been chosen for analysis purpose.
Key banking reforms remain helpful in correcting flaws in the banking sector of Pakistan. In particular, privatisation of banks, the deregulation and institutional strengthening measures and switching towards market-based monetary and credit management remain helpful in correcting the prevailing flaws. The cost inefficiency scores of banks also indicate that the efficiency of Pakistani banks have improved during 1990 to 2006.
As regards group-wise efficiency estimates, foreign banks are found to be more efficient, followed by private banks, nationalised commercial banks, and privatised banks. The relative high cost inefficiency of privatised banks is most probably due to having remained under state owned structure during most of the period of the study. The financial liberalisation and the resultant competitive environment might be the key factors behind improvements in efficacy of banks.