2020: The Year in Review
Highlights from Euromoney’s coverage of the last 12 months
Banks have been trying to rebuild trust since the global financial crisis. Covid-19 and the subsequent economic crisis will be a big test of their commitment.
The coronavirus crisis has hit Europe so hard and so suddenly that banks have to radically rethink their normal approaches to dealing with a crisis.
The EU’s new recovery fund is a historic step to help the countries worst affected by Covid avoid a debt trap. If the EU’s short-term bills become a risk-free, interest-rate instrument, this temporary response to the deadly virus could become a permanent change to Europe’s capital markets
Covid-19 may be the moment sovereign wealth funds were made for: a shocking disruption to national economies that calls for a stable, patiently invested buffer. Funds have reacted in different ways, but they’re all bigger, shrewder and hopefully smarter than they were during the GFC.
Banks in Europe face a bleak choice. They can redouble cost cutting and capture the move to digital. They can also top up capital with AT1s, for which there is still a bid. But as the acute phase of the crisis now approaches and loan losses rise, banks’ fabled capital strength faces a stern test
The nation has become synonymous with 1MDB, much to its new leadership’s frustration. It needs to close the chapter on this scandal and begin a new narrative with the global financial community. Malaysia’s prime minister-in-waiting tells Euromoney what would help.
As the howls of anguish at negative interest rates reach a crescendo, central bankers and prominent economists are still convinced that Europe’s financial sector would be even worse off were base rates above zero. Banks are increasingly vocal in their opposition to the policy. Are they right to believe the systemic risks are growing? And could a move away from negative rates hurt banks more than if the ECB kept them?
With Santander Brasil registering record profits and Santander Mexico promising the same, the outlook for the group looks Latin. As its European business stalls, how will the bank be affected by Latin America’s shift from engine of growth to core business?
Four years after Scotiabank last took its investor day on the road, the bank put on a show in Santiago in January to highlight the advances it has made in its international banking strategy.
The bank says it remains committed to excellence, but its biggest pitch seems to be that it doesn’t feel the need to be the leader in everything it does any more. That may give it the flexibility it needs as it develops into new areas, but will it be enough to satisfy shareholders?
DBS’s chief executive has transformed it into a globally respected bank and a leader in digital finance. What’s next for the Singapore-based lender? It sees an open door to becoming a truly pan-Asian financial institution, with sustainability at its core
They seemed to be emerging, blinking, into the light of a normal financial system under former president Mauricio Macri, but that moment has gone; the new administration has sent real rates negative, while economic and credit growth look to be years away.
The US bank’s Asia chief executive and former global head of financial institutions group talks to Euromoney about his ambitions in digital, wealth and transaction banking, and about the bank’s future as a leader of both global and local change.
A bold move by New Zealand’s Jarden to hire some of the finest talent in Australian investment banking and go it alone feeds the sense of a changing competitive landscape.
As Spain prepares to digest the €17 billion merger of CaixaBank and Bankia, Andalucían lender Unicaja has revived merger talks with rival Liberbank as it faces a threat to its regional dominance. While its community roots are an advantage, it also needs an answer to the calls for change
Joseph Poon is group head of DBS Private Bank, one of Asia’s leading wealth managers. But the event that drives him today, informing his values and his views on investing and risk management, was stepping aboard a rickety raft in 1976 to flee an impoverished and divided Vietnam.
Edelweiss has grown over 25 years into an independent and successful diversified financial services group, but it needs capital. Its decision to sell a controlling stake in its wealth management business spotlights the institution and the potential of the sector.
China’s asset management industry barely existed 20 years ago. By 2030 it will be the world’s second largest. There are myriad ways for foreign firms to get it right – or horribly wrong. Here are Euromoney’s precepts for a better chance of winning – and avoiding failure.
Across the UK, Legal & General has invested over £22 billion in affordable housing, homes for the homeless, clean energy, life sciences, creative industries, and technology and infrastructure. Is this the institutional-scale impact model we have been waiting for?
It was not the only bank that came into the Covid crisis with a strong balance sheet, but, as in 2008, the bank has shown that its diverse businesses provide plentiful earnings to take big reserves, even while it keeps financing large corporates and small businesses alike.
The firm didn’t foresee the coronavirus crisis when it decided to pivot its investment bank more explicitly towards clients than ever before. But as so often, its timing could not have been better
Global banks are finally getting full access to China’s capital markets. Regulators will let them own joint ventures outright as they roll out a host of services from forex to advisory to wealth management. For Beijing it’s a final frontier – and there’s no going back.
Despite MSCI index inclusion and a landmark trade by Saudi Aramco, global funds are still $70 billion underweight Gulf equities.
Volumes more than doubled in March; before the coronavirus crisis hit, Euromoney spoke to market participants about why portfolio trading will transform bond market liquidity.
Having raised liquidity in March, Latin American companies are now trying to assess the best way forward.
Politicians in the US and China warn of decoupling, but at a financial level the two countries are closer than ever. China needs US money and help to build its capital markets. US funds are snapping up mainland securities as they tap into the great investment opportunity of the 2020s. It’s a perfect match.
The transition from Libor is passing key tests as benchmark reform moves into its endgame. In October, the discounting rate for cleared interest rate derivatives was smoothly shifted to Sofr and Isda’s fall-back protocol was finally published. However, the Gordian knot of legacy loan contracts remains.
Japanese conglomerates have woken up to the need to divest non-core assets; international private equity houses have plenty of dry powder with which to buy them. This happy alignment appears to have survived Covid-19, unlike other forms of cross-border M&A.
Real estate investment trusts are the mainstay of Singapore listings, a rare example of liquidity and foreign interest in an otherwise dull local bourse. Two contrasting mergers tell intriguing stories about where the Reit market goes from here.
China’s decision to scrap Ant Group’s IPO made headlines around the world. But why did the Party act so late and why is it so concerned about Ant? Euromoney looks at the reasons behind the decision and asks what the future holds for a firm hemmed in by a raft of new rules on everything from online lending to anti-trust and data privacy.
First central banks ignored cryptocurrencies, then they mocked them, next they fought them and now they are building their own. Before long central bank digital currencies will be in use, with possibly startling consequences. What will it mean for privacy and personal freedoms? And could the backstop to banking become the banking system itself?
After turning French banking upside down, Compte Nickel is taking its tech-savvy approach to financial inclusion abroad. Insiders say its barebones account service will spread further and keep its dynamism under BNP Paribas ownership. But can a bank for outsiders with a physical network also be the fintech champion of Europe’s banking establishment?
For a sector reeling from money laundering scandals, it’s tempting to imagine that technology could be a low-cost way of solving such problems. AI could be a game changer for detecting low-level crime, but corporate-scale laundromats will remain tough to crack.
Recruited to set up a national payments system, the central bank’s Olga Skorobogatova has overseen initiatives to protect consumers and promote competition in Russia’s banking sector. In her first interview with international media, she talks sandboxes, blockchain and the challenges of regulating bank ecosystems.
Fears that the Covid-19 virus might live on banknotes and coins has focused public attention on once esoteric experiments with central bank digital currency. The virus has also exposed the slow pace of emergency government support payments through the conventional banking system, so what once sounded futuristic may be coming soon. CBDC just got real.
Within three years a quarter of Europe’s bank branches could be closed – more if the rising M&A wave strengthens. When banks shout about investing in digital for their customers, they want investors to hear they are cutting costs. In the rush to become tech companies could they lose what keeps customers loyal?