As U.S. banks pile into European banks' backyards, the Europeans are gearing up for a counteroffensive marked by a new wave of U.S. acquisitions.

Although European banks have for years been buying up "boutique" financial firms specializing in areas like high-yield debt and asset management, last November's announcement that Deutsche Bank plans to buy Bankers Trust Corp. for more than $10 billion took trans-Atlantic acquisitions to a new heights.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.