New PDF release: Consolidation in the European Financial Industry (Palgrave

By Roberto Bottiglia, Elisabetta Gualandri, Gian Nereo Mazzocco

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Extra info for Consolidation in the European Financial Industry (Palgrave MacMillan Studies in Banking and Financial Institutions)

Sample text

It should also be borne in mind that, although useful in giving us a general understanding of what really occurs, all analysis frameworks and classification procedures are actually simplifications of reality, even if every operation (or group of operations, of any size) may contain drivers, underlying factors, aims and effects which can be summed up with the aid of one of the categories defined. As well as the aims or drivers of M&A operations, we must also remember the risks involved. They affect the parties to operations in different ways, and depending on the operation’s strategic importance and size, they may have far-reaching effects on the subsequent life of the banks concerned and the groups to which they belong.

And these authorities’ activities are focused largely on the review of banking consolidation operations, which inevitably create groupings with large volumes of assets and big market shares. However, it should be remembered here that over the lengthy development of the M&A phenomenon, and in contrast to the experience from other periods and/or sectors, there have been only a few cases in which antitrust regulations have had really decisive effects, although they do exercise partial, indirect influence (as a restricting factor to be considered ex ante).

It is no coincidence that the groups hardest hit include players which, in the period immediately before the crisis, had implemented processes of intensive growth through external lines and a massive diversification of activity, mainly in the investment banking and mortgage lending sectors, as well as rapid expansion into new geographical areas. Similarly, as we have already seen, the way out of these difficulties is to be sought, apart from the essential recapitalisation, in processes of refocusing on the more stable core business (usually retail & commercial banking) and a reduction in geographical coverage, abandoning marginal markets, including some recently acquired ones.

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