Competition in Spanish Banking
We assess the state of competition in the Spanish banking system at the dawn of the integration of the European financial market. Banking in Spain has undergone a strong liberalization process in the last fifteen years, which has accelerated recently, evolving from a situation of tight regulation and protection from competition. The outcome of this process is a changing sector in which the recent merger attempts are the most visible phenomena. In the paper we analyze the recent history of the industry as well as the current situation by using the tools of both finance and industrial organization. Our objectives are to provide basic evidence, pose some fundamental issues and problems, survey, and extend wherever possible the existing work, and try to draw a coherent picture of Spanish banking.
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