Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsreihe, Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Augsburg 192
This study assesses the impact of the single market program (SMP) and the European monetary union (EMU) on the German banking sector. As a main result, the introduction of the EMU can be assessed as more important for the German banking system than the SMP because of the relative liberal conditions prior to the SMP. To maintain or enhance profitability in an environment of decreasing margins, all banks will increase their efforts to reduce costs. On the product side, the disintermediation process is expected to speed up. As a consequence, the traditional system of universal banks could be somewhat changed: A partial retreat of savings as well as cooperative banks from investment banking, accompanied by increasing market shares in the branch-based retail business. For commercial banks, the consultation-intense investment business is very attractive. On the retail sector, a specialization on direct banking allows for additional customers from abroad as well as for high growth rates in the brokerage business.