FRANKFURT, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS's chairman Axel Weber expects mergers among smaller banks in Europe, mainly in the retail sector, while larger lenders were less likely to join up due to regulatory concerns.
"Consolidation will certainly happen among smaller banks," Weber said in a speech at the university in Frankfurt on Wednesday, adding that there were too many retail banks in Europe.
His own bank, UBS, was already "too big to fail", he said, and that regulators would approach any possible merger attempt with the notion that some banks are already too big.
"Mergers among large (banks) are from my point of view more or less impossible," Weber said.
The European banking sector is going through a clean-up driven by the European Central Bank that will take over as new centralised euro zone supervisor in November.
Many observers expect a wave of mergers and acquisitions as a result of bank health checks, which precede the hand-over and can be compared to a due-diligence procedure investors conduct before deciding to buy a company or a bank.
The results of the health checks are due in October and will make it easier for investors to compare banks across borders.
Reporting by Eva Taylor; editing by Susan thomas