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Opinion

Off the record

March 2021

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“Any chief executive with a well informed and sophisticated view would find it difficult to interact with a board that doesn’t understand the banking business”

It’s hard to argue with this observation by one Italian banker


“There are people at this bank who have enthused about the potential of blockchain for more than six years. But let’s be honest. Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme”

One banker has had enough of the cryptocurrency hype


“If you put together a vision statement in the UK or the US, you would be held to account on every bullet point, every dollar spent. In the Middle East, there is a recognition that ambitions can expand or contract over time”

A Dubai banker compares the pragmatism of the Middle East with the inflexibility of the West


“China is more than happy to take your capital – they just don’t need your capital markets anymore”

A Shanghai-based banker emphasises the main lesson of the Ant IPO listing – even though the deal didn’t happen


“Bahrain has been the net loser of the last 20 years in the Middle East.






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