Economics - Cost Analysis
The last decade has witnessed an unprecedented number of mega-mergers in the banking industry: Bank of America's acquisitions of Fleet Bank, MBNA, and U.S. Trust; Bank of New York's acquisition of Mellon Financial; and Wells Fargo's acquisition of Wachovia, to name several of the largest consolidations. Besides growth for its own sake, these super banks are able to offer one-stop shopping for financial services: everything from savings accounts to home mortgages, investment account, insurance vehicles, and financial planning.
a. In the short run, what are the potential cost advantages of these mergers? describe.
b. Is a $300 billion national bank likely to be more efficient than a $30 billion regional bank or a $3 billion state-based bank? What economic evidence is needed to determine whether there are long-run increasing returns to scale in banking?
c. Do you think these mergers are predicated on economies of scope?