While M&A activity in the banking sector for 2017 was relatively subdued, a Deloitte study released at the end of that year suggested that 2018 had the potential to be a big year for banking M&A activity. That suggestion wound up being an accurate one. Led by the rallying of financial stocks that helped stabilize and boost the value of companies’ capital war chests, more favorable policy developments that helped ease regulatory constraints, rising interest rates and the tax reform bill’s boost to bottom lines, banking M&A made numerous headlines throughout the year.
Many large financial firms that had been sitting on the sidelines since the financial crisis, spent 2018 actively exploring and completing some major fintech acquisitions or investments as the continued rise in technology innovation played a major role in this increased activity as well.
For fintechs, 2018 got off to a fast start and that early momentum was felt throughout the year. Two massive deals dominated the headlines as the $12.9 billion acquisition of WorldPay by Vantiv and PayPal’s acquisition of Swedish fintech firm iZettle for $2.2 billion most certainly set the stage for a big year.
The total number of retail banking deals globally was numbered at 287 through the first three quarters of 2018 according to White & Case M&A Explorer, which was broadly in line with previous years. However, these transactions were worth a combined $76.2 billion – a 25% increase over the first three quarters of 2017. [Read more…]