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Isabel Figueiras

15 November 2021
Financial Stability Review Issue 2, 2021
This special feature reviews recent trends in the consolidation of the euro area banking sector, examines the characteristics and drivers of bank M&A transactions, and analyses the impact of bank mergers and acquisitions on the performance of euro area banks. Bank mergers and acquisitions (M&As) have been subdued in the euro area since the global financial crisis. Most M&A activity has had a domestic focus and involved smaller targets, with larger and sounder acquirers acting as consolidators. Consolidation seems on average to have had a moderately positive impact on the profitability of the banks involved, although high levels of variance reveal the presence of large execution and design risks amid low overall returns on capital in the banking sector. Improved post-transaction profitability can be linked to targets’ lower cost efficiency, liquidity and capitalisation. Cross-border M&A transactions have been concentrated within a few small groups of euro area countries, supported by prior financial links and geographical proximity. Such transactions tend to be followed by a stronger improvement in profitability than domestic mergers, although this effect has diminished since the global financial crisis.
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G34 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Mergers, Acquisitions, Restructuring, Corporate Governance
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration