Banking Concentration in the European Union during the Last Fifteen Years
The increase in the concentration of the banking industry across European Union countries during the last fifteen years can be explained in terms of: a) global factors, like the comprehensive adoption of technological innovations, the intensification of competition that has resulted from the deregulation of the financial sector and, more recently, as a consequence of the government interventions and forced acquisitions prompted by the 2007-2009 financial crisis; and, b) factors that have been specific to the E.U., in particular, the structural changes that took place in the region as a result of the creation of the Single Financial Market (1993) and the introduction of the euro (1999). This work analyzes the concentration process of the banking industry in the E.U. during the last fifteen years giving preeminence to the strategic choices made by the region’s commercial banks. It also reports the most visible E.U. banks’ M&As and government interventions that resulted from the 2007-2009 financial crisis, make a preliminary evaluation of the outcomes, and suggests possible future trends for the banking industry in the region.
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