The battle to sketch the new face of global banking



Identity crisis

News and opinion

  • Iceland’s improving risk score points to A-grade

    The world’s northernmost borrower is beginning to look like a decent credit again, thanks to stronger financial safeguards and a plan to remove capital controls cementing a recovery now delivering impressive macro-fundamentals.

  • FX technology bets to drive dealer market shares

    The jury is out on whether the rise of tech-savvy non-banks means FX banks should adopt either a full service, market champion model or a simplified, limited service provider model, or something in between.

  • Off Message: Canny comms get results for HSBC

    Quietly, but forcefully, the bank is getting its message across to UK government and regulators.

  • Top FX banks brace for disruption wave

    Demand for single-dealer platforms continues to drive adoption of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) in the FX space, allowing smaller players to compete with the top-tier firms in pre- and post-trade services.

  • The future of the RMB: special focus

    An in-depth guide to global currency wars; how Beijing is seeking to globalize the renminbi, through currency swaps and trade-financing facilities; the rise of the offshore bond market; and how fee-hungry banks are salivating at the prospect of the RMB’s growth.

  • HRE sale shows hunger for real estate risk

    Government IPOs Deutsche Pfandbriefbank; Commerzbank sells €2.9 billion loan portfolio.

  • RBS retrenchment opens up new opportunities

    Rival bankers reveal their client-acquisition plans as RBS pulls out of international transaction banking, forcing corporates to embark on the complex task of choosing new banking partners.


  • Hourican's battle for Bank of Cyprus

    Two years ago, John Hourican took over a bank flattened by haircuts on Greek bonds, whose depositors had seen their money seized and where borrowers were defaulting en masse. Somehow, through determination, hard work and maybe a little luck, he turned it round. Deposits are coming back, NPLs are being dealt with, assets shed and capital raised. The bank is profitable and confidence has been restored. As John Hourican steps down as CEO, the story of our banker of the year for 2015 is also one of redemption.

  • Cristofani prepares Santander Río for better times

    It is the biggest and the best bank in a troubled market. The bank almost got an IPO away in 2011 before Argentina’s economy turned. The market hasn’t improved since then. But rather than sit and wait it out, the bank is investing heavily to be in the best possible shape when – if – the political and economic outlook improves.

  • Bankia’s Alvarez: Saving the bank that didn’t exist

    When seven failing cajas were forced together, it was supposed to dampen their problems, not amplify them. Despite many doubts and hard decisions, Bankia’s chief executive Jose Sevilla Alvarez has been ambitious in restoring profitability and recovering the bank

  • ING profits out of Hamers’ way

    ING’s chief executive walks and talks digital. Today he leads a stronger, freer institution – one that is using pure online banking to grab customers from incumbents. While the bank grows as a force in lending to industry around the world, it is also building up an SME and consumer-lending portfolio in some of Europe’s biggest retail markets

  • Wu’s trans-Asia plan for CTBC

    The Taiwan-based bank is determined to break free of the island’s narrow horizons by moving into the markets of its much larger neighbours.

  • Best investment bank 2015: The reinvention of Morgan Stanley

    Under the leadership of James Gorman, Morgan Stanley has carved out a unique position in global banking. It remains a great investment bank. Its much-maligned FICC division now looks fit for purpose. And its US wealth management arm gives the firm new stability and strength. Most important of all, the disparate parts of a once-divided business are delivering the benefits of the whole firm. And the markets are starting to realize the potential of a new Morgan Stanley as well.

  • Tshabalala and Kruger: It takes two to transition at Standard Bank

    When Standard Bank ran into trouble during its plans for emerging market domination, the board decided it would take two chief executives to wrap up its global business and bring the bank back to its African roots. How can two co-CEOs pull together for one cause?

  • Treichl’s reinvention 2.0 at Erste Bank

    Erste’s long-serving chief executive has already transformed the bank once, by taking it into the former communist countries of emerging Europe. Now he is looking to reinvent it again as a cutting-edge digital player.

  • Al Arab's CIB grows against the grain

    The bank – along with Egypt – has been on nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for the past four years. It has been exciting and scary, says CEO Hisham Ezz Al Arab, but the worst is very much in the past. How did the bank survive? And what is it looking forward to?

  • RBC Caribbean fights back from the brink

    The banking business of RBC Caribbean was close to dissolution less than three years ago but is now on a path towards profitability and reconnection with the communities that it serves. Kirk Dudtschak, the bank’s executive vice-president, was in the eye of the storm.

  • Tsien banks on OCBC’s universal ambitions

    The CEO of OCBC wants to show the Asian market that the bank is a force to be reckoned with outside Singapore, across all areas of financial services. A big acquisition in Hong Kong has made the market sit up and take notice.

  • Best global bank 2015: Citi – Last man standing

    Citi is the last global wholesale bank offering all products to its clients everywhere. It operates in 100 countries and boasts a payment system handling $3 trillion of transactions a day, which no other bank is ever likely to emulate. It has taken the axe to its global consumer business, but still operates in 24 countries. Under the leadership of Michael Corbat, Citi has closed the share price discount to book value. It must now prove that a global universal bank can avoid the pitfalls of scale and deliver sustainable returns. If it does, it will be the only one


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