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Common Ownership Patterns in the European Banking Sector-The Impact of the Financial Crisis

Banal-Estanol, A., Boot, N. & Seldeslachts, J. (2022). Common Ownership Patterns in the European Banking Sector-The Impact of the Financial Crisis. Journal of Competition Law and Economics, 18(1), pp. 135-167. doi: 10.1093/joclec/nhab023


We provide a description of ownership patterns in the top 25 European banks for the period 2003-2015, where we especially focus on the global financial crisis. Investment managers, such as Blackrock, are dominant in terms of number of blockholdings in different banks, maintaining fairly stable "common ownership"networks throughout our sample. However, the financial crisis led to capital injections by governments in several banks in trouble, which in turn led to a jump in holdings by governments, which typically are "non-common owners"(i.e., they hold only shares in only one bank). This jump translated into these investors temporarily being the top investor with a large share, and non-common owners being the majority among large shareholders. A brief comparison with US banks uncovers large ownership differences between the European and US banking sectors. We briefly discuss what these ownership patterns might imply for competition, stability and performance in the banking industry.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivs licence (, which permits non-commercial reproduction and distribution of the work, in any medium, provided the original work is not altered or transformed in any way, and that the work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: G21 - Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages G23 - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors G28 - Government Policy and Regulation G32 - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill K21 - Antitrust Law L4 - Antitrust Issues and Policies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Economics
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