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Banking

Partnerships offer European banks a way forward

European banks don’t have a continental market, right? Wrong. Even if they cannot do full-blown mergers, the cross-border consolidation of specific business lines offers a way of gaining some of the economies of scale that US and Chinese banks enjoy.

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European banks are in desperate need of greater economies of scale, as negative rates make it ever harder for them to sustain their businesses.

But even if pan-European retail banks never really emerge – indeed, if global universal banks are out of fashion – chief executives in Europe are increasingly seeking synergies through looser kinds of cross-border partnership.

Speculation last year of a merger between France’s Societe Generale and Italy’s biggest bank, UniCredit, raised hopes of intra-European consolidation. 




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