Western Europe: M&A will not solve banks’ problems, warns SSM’s Angeloni
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Western Europe: M&A will not solve banks’ problems, warns SSM’s Angeloni

Brexit-sparked competition from US banks a good thing, ECB supervisor says; Italian populism ‘a burdensome tax’ on banks.

One of Europe’s top banking supervisors has sounded a cautious note on the prospects for more bank M&A, as speculation mounts for a new wave of European mergers.


Ignazio Angeloni

Ignazio Angeloni, board member at the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and a frontrunner to replace outgoing chair Danièle Nouy, said the European Central Bank (ECB) is not against the possibility of large mergers.

“We want the banking sector to be safe and efficient, to be capable of providing high-quality services to individuals and firms, and ultimately promoting growth and collective welfare,” he tells Euromoney in an interview in Frankfurt.

“Consolidation can be a means to achieve this, under certain conditions.”

However, regarding domestic deals – and in comments that might be relevant to a lately much-discussed merger between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank – Angeloni said it is crucial for bigger banks to strengthen their risk profile first, especially when the banks are weak.

“When we receive a proposal, our main concern is that the resulting entity is strong from the beginning, right after the merger,” he says. “The merger of two weak banks does not per se produce a strong bank; the opposite may in fact happen, because the merger is in itself a difficult operation.

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