The factors determining foreign bank efficiency are investigated using a three stage research method. It is found that host market incumbency reduces efficiency of foreign banks in Australia, resulting in over use of inputs. Factors underlying the limited global advantage hypothesis of Berger et al. [Berger, Allen N., DeYoung, Robert, Genay, Hesna, Udell, Gregory F., 2000. Globalisation of financial institutions: Evidence from cross-border banking performance. Brookings-Wharton Papers on Financial Service 3, 23?120] are identified, in that nationality specific factors represented by dummy variables are not significant once other relevant effects are controlled for. Parent profitability is not found to result in increased host nation efficiency, while parent credit rating effects are mixed. Some evidence is presented that banks from more financially sophisticated nations are more efficient. The implications of these results are explored from the perspectives of bank management and bank regulators.