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An Assessment of Bank Merger Success in Germany


  • Michael Koetter


German banks have experienced a merger wave since the early 1990s. However, the success of bank mergers remains a continuous matter of debate.This paper suggests a taxonomy to evaluate post-merger performance on the basis of cost and profit efficiency (CE and PE). I identify successful mergers as those that fulfill simultaneously two criteria. First, merged institutes must exhibit efficiency levels above the average of non-merging banks. Second, banks must exhibit efficiency changes between merger and evaluation year above efficiency changes of non-merging banks. I assess the post-merger performance up to 11 years after the mergers and relate it to the transfer of skills, the adequacy to merge distressed banks and the role of geographical distance. Roughly every second merger is a success in terms of either CE or PE. The margin of success in terms of CE is narrow, as efficiency differentials between merging and non-merging banks are around 1 and 2 percentage points. PE performance is slightly larger. More importantly, mergers boost in particular the change in PE, thus indicating persistent improvements of merging banks to improve the ability to generate profits. Copyright 2008 The Authors.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Koetter, 2008. "An Assessment of Bank Merger Success in Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 232-264, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:9:y:2008:i::p:232-264

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Haskamp, Ulrich, 2017. "Improving the forecasts of European regional banks' profitability with machine learning algorithms," Ruhr Economic Papers 705, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Elisabetta Fiorentino & Alessio De Vincenzo & Frank Heid & Alexander Karmann & Michael Koetter, 2009. "The effects of privatization and consolidation on bank productivity: comparative evidence from Italy and Germany," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 722, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Bernad, Cristina & Fuentelsaz, Lucio & Gómez, Jaime, 2010. "The effect of mergers and acquisitions on productivity: An empirical application to Spanish banking," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 283-293, October.
    4. Stolz, Stéphanie & Wedow, Michael, 2011. "Banks' regulatory capital buffer and the business cycle: Evidence for Germany," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 98-110, June.
    5. Elisabetta Fiorentino & Heinz Herrmann, 2009. "Effizienz und Wettbewerb im deutschen Bankensektor," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 78(1), pages 114-126.
    6. Horst Gischer & Toni Richter, 2011. "'Global Player' im Bankenwesen - ökonomisch sinnvoll oder problembehaftet?," FEMM Working Papers 110012, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    7. Paolo Coccorese & Giovanni Ferri & Fabiola Spiniello, 2017. "Are mergers among cooperative banks worth a dime? Evidence on post-M&A efficiency in Italy," CERBE Working Papers wpC18, CERBE Center for Relationship Banking and Economics.
    8. Behr, Andreas & Heid, Frank, 2011. "The success of bank mergers revisited. An assessment based on a matching strategy," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 117-135, January.
    9. Reddy, K. Srinivasa & Nangia, Vinay Kumar & Agrawal, Rajat, 2012. "Corporate mergers and financial performance: A new assessment of Indian cases," MPRA Paper 60425, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2013.
    10. Haskamp, Ulrich, 2016. "Spillovers of banking regulation: The effect of the German bank levy on the lending rates of regional banks and their local competitors," Ruhr Economic Papers 664, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    11. Koetter, Michael & Poghosyan, Tigran, 2008. "The implications of latent technology regimes for competition and efficiency in banking," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2008,15, Deutsche Bundesbank.

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