Download e-book for iPad: Banking Mergers and Acquisitions in the EU: Overview by Rym Ayadi, Georges Pujals

By Rym Ayadi, Georges Pujals

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2 Country analyses: Different patterns of consolidation in the future In a majority of European countries, domestic operations have been characterised by an increasing average transaction value since 1998. This has led to the creation of banking ‘giants’ at the domestic scale. This observation – which seems to reinforce the idea of the maturity of the national consolidation process in numerous countries – foresees the strengthening of the cross-border consolidation phase and the emergence of a few cross-border European ‘leaders’ in the medium term89.

52 What prospects for the banking industry in the EU? In Luxembourg and the UK, the high foreign penetration could explain their low degree of market concentration. According to the Bank of England, 306 foreign banks were established in the UK in 2000, owning 55% of the total assets. Hence, to correctly portray the British banking market, it is more appropriate to look at the total assets in sterling owned by more than 70% of British institutions, and then to differentiate between wholesale and retail markets.

Firstly, it is necessary to distinguish between national and cross-border M&A operations. Prior studies of the pricing effects of M&As48 found that national consolidation, by strengthening the degree of concentration, could generate substantial market power, which is likely to be harmful for households and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, the few existing studies on European bank mergers seem to conclude that there are often significant efficiency gains which result in better conditions for consumers.

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