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Bank mergers in the financial crisis: A competition policy perspective

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  • Hellwig, Michael
  • Laser, Falk Hendrik

Abstract

We analyze a large merger in the Dutch banking market during the financial crisis using disaggregated data. Based on a merger simulation model, we evaluate merger-induced changes in the interest rates for savings accounts. We find that the merging banks decreased interest rates by 3 to 5 percent and competitors by up to 1 percent. These anti-competitive effects translate into a loss of consumer welfare by roughly 69 million euros in 2010. We identify heterogeneous effects indicating that less educated consumers with lower savings are most affected. Our findings highlight the important role of competition policy during financial crisis mitigation.

Suggested Citation

  • Hellwig, Michael & Laser, Falk Hendrik, 2019. "Bank mergers in the financial crisis: A competition policy perspective," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-047, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:19047
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    antitrust; competition policy; merger analysis; state aid; retail banking; random-coefficients logit models; differentiated products;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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