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Banking industry consolidation and market structure: impact of the financial crisis and recession

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  • David C. Wheelock

Abstract

The number of U.S. commercial banks and savings institutions declined by 12 percent between December 31, 2006, and December 31, 2010, continuing a consolidation trend begun in the mid-1980s. Banking industry consolidation has been marked by sharply higher shares of deposits held by the largest banks—the 10 largest banks now hold nearly 50 percent of total U.S. deposits. How­ever, antitrust policy is predicated on the assumption that banking markets are local in nature, and enforcement has focused on preventing bank mergers from increasing the concentration of local banking markets. The author finds little change over time in the average concentration of local banking markets or the average number of dominant banks in them, even during the recent financial crisis and recession when numerous bank failures and several large bank mergers occurred. Concentration did not increase substantially, on average, in markets where mergers occurred among banks when both the acquiring and acquired banks had existing local offices, though rural markets generally saw larger increases in concentration from such mergers than did urban markets. Although the structures of local banking markets, on average, have changed little since the mid-1980s, deposit concentration has continued to increase at the level of U.S. Census regions. As technology evolves and the costs of obtaining banking services from distant providers fall further, local market characteristics may become less relevant for analysis of competition in banking. ; Link to accompanying data file: https://files.stlouisfed.org/files/htdocs/publications/review/11/11/1111dwd.xlsx

Suggested Citation

  • David C. Wheelock, 2011. "Banking industry consolidation and market structure: impact of the financial crisis and recession," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 419-438.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2011:i:nov:p:419-438:n:v.93no.6
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    File URL: https://files.stlouisfed.org/files/htdocs/publications/review/11/11/419-438Wheelock.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. R. Alton Gilbert & Adam M. Zaretsky, 2003. "Banking antitrust: are the assumptions still valid?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 29-52.
    2. Kenneth Spong, 2000. "Banking regulation : its purposes, implementation, and effects," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, number 2000bria, Jan 17.
    3. Randall S. Kroszner & Philip E. Strahan, 1999. "What Drives Deregulation? Economics and Politics of the Relaxation of Bank Branching Restrictions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1437-1467.
    4. Thomas A. Garrett & Gary A. Wagner & David C. Wheelock, 2005. "A spatial analysis of state banking regulation," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(4), pages 575-595, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cubillas, Elena & Fernández, Ana I. & González, Francisco, 2017. "How credible is a too-big-to-fail policy? International evidence from market discipline," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 46-67.
    2. Abo-Zaid, Salem, 2015. "Optimal monetary policy with the cost channel and monopolistically-competitive banks," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 284-299.
    3. Pérez Montes, Carlos, 2014. "The effect on competition of banking sector consolidation following the financial crisis of 2008," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 124-136.
    4. Dunn, Jessica Kay & Intintoli, Vincent J. & McNutt, Jamie John, 2015. "An examination of non-government-assisted US commercial bank mergers during the financial crisis," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 16-41.

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