Giant bank plan was put aside

Three of the country?s top four banks have already explored a contingency plan to merge into one, Kathimerini understands.

According to sources, the managers of National Bank, Eurobank and Piraeus Bank had discussed before the May 6 elections the possibility of a triple merger that would create a credit giant that could withstand the challenges of a Greek exit from the eurozone, thought the process stopped just before polling day.

For the time being it remains unknown how advanced those talks were, although it has emerged that the three parties never sat at the same table. Talks stopped in order to assess the political landscape after the election and have not resumed since. Since then other developments, such as the acquisition by Piraeus of the healthy side of ATEbank have come up, putting aside the creation of a giant bank.

Coincidentally, a major US bank official told Kathimerini last week that ?there is only one way for the Greek credit sector: The creation of a really big bank that would matter internationally.?

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