Banking Mergers and Acquisitions in the EU: Overview by Rym Ayadi, Georges Pujals

By Rym Ayadi, Georges Pujals

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2 Cost and profit efficiency scores analysis Several techniques – parametric or non-parametric – have been proposed in the literature to measure efficiency using the frontier approaches. They mainly differ in the distributional assumptions used to disentangle inefficiency differences from random errors. The parametric Stochastic Frontier Approach (SFA) and the non-parametric Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) are the most used tools to measure efficiency, taking into account that the literature considers both techniques as equally satisfactory58.

74 48 What prospects for the banking industry in the EU? place in EU countries where concentration levels are intermediate to low, and secondly, an acceleration of cross-border M&A operations,76 particularly in countries where competition concerns have already been voiced from the authorities within the domestic market. If bank mergers in the past have been hampered by significant regulatory obstacles, the 1992 Treaty on European Union, the 1998 Council directive on the liberation of capital movements, the creation of the euro in 1999 and the European Commission’s progress towards the integration of EU financial markets through the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) constitute the Union’s major achievements in removing the regulatory obstacles to an integrated financial services market.

100 However, the acquisition of CCF by HSBC in 2000, the one of Banco Zaragozano by Barclays in 2003, and more recently the acquisition of Abbey National by SCH in July 2004 or the deals in progress between ABN Amro/Banca Antonveneta, UniCredit/HVB and BBVA/BNL seem to sustain the idea of a growing interest for cross-border operations in the European banking community. The aborted merger between Dexia and SanPaolo IMI in November 2004 and the permanent rumours of probable transactions involving the major European banking institutions (such as RBoS/ABN Amro, BNP Paribas/Fortis…) strengthen this opinion too.

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