This report offers a comprehensive survey of recent empirical research on the state and development of retail banking integration in Europe. The authors, Stefanie Kleimeier and Harald Sander, document a broad consensus that retail banking integration is still limited, although it seems to have recently gained momentum. Kleimeier and Sander find, however, that there is less agreement on how to measure the phenomenon. They warn that the various types of integration measures should be interpreted with care, due to their shortcomings and in order to avoid jumping to the wrong policy conclusion. In their view, the recent acceleration in integration has been driven mostly by wholesale financial market integration and more general financial developments. The authors conclude that integration policies need to be supplemented by competition, financial development, and financial stability policies.
Stefanie Kleimeier is an associate professor of finance at the Limburg Institute of Financial Economics, Maastricht University, and a fellow of the Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organizations (METEOR), Maastricht University.Harald Sander is a professor of economics and international economics at the University of Applied Sciences Cologne and an extramural fellow of METEOR.