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Evaluating the German bank merger wave

  • Koetter, Michael

German banks experienced a merger wave throughout the 1990s. However, the success of bank mergers remains a continuous matter of debate. In this paper we suggest a taxonomy as how to evaluate post-merger performance on the basis of cost efficiency (CE). We categorise mergers a success that fulfill simultaneously two criteria. First, merged institutes must exhibit CE levels above the average of non-merging banks. Second, banks must exhibit CE changes between merger and evaluation year above efficiency changes of non-merging banks. We employ this taxonomy to characterise (successful) mergers in terms of various key-performance and structural indicators and investigate the implications for three important policy issues. Our main conclusions are twofold. First, approximately every second merger is a success. Second, the margin of success is narrow, as the CE differential between merging and non-merging banks is one percentage point.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies with number 2005,12.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp2:4267
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  1. Döpke, Jörg & Funke, Michael & Holly, Sean & Weber, Sebastian, 2005. "The cross-sectional dynamics of German business cycles: a bird's eye view," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,23, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
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  7. Lang, Gunter & Welzel, Peter, 1999. " Mergers among German Cooperative Banks: A Panel-Based Stochastic Frontier Analysis," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 273-86, December.
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  9. 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.
  10. Porath, Daniel, 2004. "Estimating probabilities of default for German savings banks and credit cooperatives," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2004,06, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  11. Günter Lang & Peter Welzel, 1998. "Technology and Cost Efficiency in Universal Banking A “Thick Frontier”-Analysis of the German Banking Industry," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 63-84, July.
  12. Jaap W. B. Bos & James W. Kolari, 2005. "Large Bank Efficiency in Europe and the United States: Are There Economic Motivations for Geographic Expansion in Financial Services?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1555-1592, July.
  13. 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.
  14. Hempell, Hannah S., 2002. "Testing for Competition Among German Banks," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2002,04, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  15. Willam Greene, 2005. "Fixed and Random Effects in Stochastic Frontier Models," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 7-32, 01.
  16. 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.
  17. Hamerle, Alfred & Liebig, Thilo & Scheule, Harald, 2004. "Forecasting Credit Portfolio Risk," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2004,01, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
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