Last year the global economy, financial markets and banking sector continued to make steps along the long road to recovery, progress that helped underpin a growing, if still fragile, sense of confidence.
As we continue through 2014, there is optimism this progress can continue, but there is plenty of caution and uncertainty too.
One force that is likely to continue to affect the global banking industry more than any other is the changing regulatory environment. The sheer scale of the regulatory challenge is prompting an unprecedented level of soul-searching among the world's financial institutions and a repositioning of their transaction banking businesses. The unintended consequences of regulatory intervention have also created new challenges for the banking industry, not least future profitability.