IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Bank Strategies in Euroland with Special Reference to the Benelux Area


  • Juan-Paul Abraham


In its first part, the present essay focuses on one main thesis. The transition to full EMU and the introduction of the euro will have a more effect on European banking than the previous Single Market¨Project (Europe 1992). They deal directly with money, the basic material of banking, and they pave the way to more aggressive bank strategies. In conjunction with other factors, they not only induce "accomodating" reactions, mainly through cost-cutting, but also "autonomous restructurings" : less intermediation, more market activities and, most of all, external growth through M(ergers) and A(cquisitions). This significantly changes the structure and the policies of European banking. Recently important and controversial M and A have occurred in the Benelux area. In the second part of the essay, these developments are analysed in the just described framework. After a global overview two case studies are presented : ABN-AMRO, n° 1 in the Netherlands; the Generale Bank, n° 1 in Belgium. The main conclusion is that the rationale behind the recent M and A is not mere size, but also accelerated rationalisation and penetration in foreign domestic markets, which was previously hampered by defensive and ultimately self-defeating strategies of strengthening the mere national domestic base. However, at the present stage, the importance of institutional resistance, even in small neighbouring countries, should not be under-estimated. Hence, cross-border restructurings in European banking will only increase gradually.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan-Paul Abraham, 1999. "Bank Strategies in Euroland with Special Reference to the Benelux Area," Working Papers Department of Economics ces9905, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces9905

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Miller, Marcus & Sutherland, Alan, 1994. "Speculative Anticipations of Sterling's Return to Gold: Was Keynes Wrong?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 804-812, July.
    2. Klein, Michael W. & Lewis, Karen K., 1993. "Learning about intervention target zones," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3-4), pages 275-295, November.
    3. Meese, Richard A, 1986. "Testing for Bubbles in Exchange Markets: A Case of Sparkling Rates?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 345-373, April.
    4. De Grauwe, Paul & Dewachter, Hans & Veestraeten, Dirk, 1999. "Price dynamics under stochastic process switching: some extensions and an application to EMU1," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 195-224, February.
    5. Flood, Robert P. & Rose, Andrew K. & Mathieson, Donald J., 1991. "An empirical exploration of exchange-rate target-zones," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 7-65, January.
    6. Froot, Kenneth A. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Exchange-rate dynamics under stochastic regime shifts : A unified approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 203-229, November.
    7. Flood, Robert P & Garber, Peter M, 1983. "A Model of Stochastic Process Switching," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 537-551, May.
    8. Burmeister, Edwin & Wall, Kent D., 1982. "Kalman filtering estimation of unobserved rational expectations with an application to the German hyperinflation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 255-284, November.
    9. Froot, Kenneth A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Stochastic Process Switching: Some Simple Solutions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 241-250, January.
    10. Gardeazabal, Javier & Regulez, Marta & Vazquez, Jesus, 1997. "Testing the Canonical Model of Exchange Rates with Unobservable Fundamentals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 389-404, May.
    11. Smith, Gregor W, 1991. "Solution to a Problem of Stochastic Process Switching," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 237-239, January.
    12. Burda, Michael & Gerlach, Stefan, 1993. "Exchange Rate Dynamics and Currency Unification: The Ostmark-DM Rate," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 417-429.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    EMU; euro; bankstrategies; Benelux financial systems.;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces9905. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (library EBIB). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.