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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.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 9 (2008)
Issue (Month): (05)
Pages: 232-264

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:9:y:2008:i::p:232-264
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  1. Koetter, M. & Bos, J.W.B. & Heid, F. & Kolari, J.W. & Kool, C.J.M. & Porath, D., 2007. "Accounting for distress in bank mergers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 3200-3217, October.
  2. J.W.B. Bos & M. Koetter, 2007. "Handling Losses in Translog Profit Models," Working Papers 17-`1, Utrecht School of Economics.
  3. Kick, Thomas & Koetter, Michael, 2007. "Slippery slopes of stress: Ordered failure events in German banking," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 132-148, July.
  4. Greene, William, 2005. "Reconsidering heterogeneity in panel data estimators of the stochastic frontier model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 269-303, June.
  5. Günter Lang, Peter Welzel, 1999. "Mergers Among German Cooperative Banks. A Panel-based Stochastic Frontier Analysis," Working Paper Series B 1999-03, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultïät.
  6. Waldman, Donald M., 1982. "A stationary point for the stochastic frontier likelihood," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 275-279, February.
  7. Jalal D. Akhavein & Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1997. "The effects of megamergers on efficiency and prices: evidence from a bank profit function," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-9, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
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  11. Hempell, Hannah S., 2002. "Testing for Competition Among German Banks," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2002,04, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  12. Maudos, Joaquin & Pastor, Jose M. & Perez, Francisco & Quesada, Javier, 2002. "Cost and profit efficiency in European banks," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 33-58, February.
  13. Michael Koetter, 2006. "Measurement Matters—Alternative Input Price Proxies for Bank Efficiency Analyses," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 199-227, October.
  14. Altunbas, Yener & Evans, Lynne & Molyneux, Philip, 2001. "Bank Ownership and Efficiency," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(4), pages 926-54, November.
  15. Lang, Gunter & Welzel, Peter, 1996. "Efficiency and technical progress in banking Empirical results for a panel of German cooperative banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 1003-1023, July.
  16. Peristiani, Stavros, 1997. "Do Mergers Improve the X-Efficiency and Scale Efficiency of U.S. Banks? Evidence from the 1980s," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 326-37, August.
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