we analyze the effects of leadership in banking when oligopolistic competition exists in the market of deposits. we assess such effects by comparing the performance of banking systems that only differ on their strategic interactions. specifically, we compare the outcomes associated to strategies of the cournot and stackelberg types (symmetric competition and leader-follower strategies). our main findings suggest that there are private and social benefits associated to leadership. the results suggest that it induces high levels of deposits, of returns and of consumption for long-term depositors. moreover, leadership induces a greater financial stability and efficiency in banking.