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Opinion
Paul J. Davies

Should European Banking Really Be More Like US Banking?

Cross-border M&A could bring about efficiencies for the industry. But a Banking Union might also lead to deeper divisions between states, just like America.

Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank CEO, speaking at Bloomberg’s Future of Finance conference

Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank CEO, speaking at Bloomberg’s Future of Finance conference

Photographer: Ben Kilb/Bloomberg

European bank mergers and acquisitions are back! Or, well, a bit of chat about the possibility is anyway. It’s easy to be carried away: Top banking regulators are hungry for the efficiency, profitability and better service that pan-European banks could deliver.

Last week, Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing told a Bloomberg conference that he wants to lead European consolidation, though he also listed the many hurdles to clear before deals can be done. BNP Paribas SA of France, meanwhile, has been dropping hints to the Dutch government that it might be willing to take ABN Amro off its hands, Bloomberg News revealed a few days earlier.