FX poll 1996: A close Chase
Newly-appointed global foreign exchange chief, Guy Whittaker, fell silent when Euromoney informed him that the new Chase had topped our annual foreign exchange poll. He simply asked how we put the results together, and took a sip of water.
Had it been true, and not just mischief on our part - this being the first time in a generation that Citibank had genuine concerns as to who might win - there's no telling what might have happened. Informed that it was a joke and that Citibank had won again for the 18th consecutive year,he explained that Citibank's edge was "its customer relationships and the continuity of its staff".
Will Citi ever be knocked from its perch? Its service continues to impress clients. Richard Desmond, corporate treasurer of UK conglomerate BAT, is typical in his praise and concludes, "Citibank has an awful lot right."As our poll clearly shows, there's no bank to match it in emerging market currencies, and there are very few areas where its name is far from the top.
Pipped at the post
The Chase/Chemical combination came historically close to pipping Citi,but fell just short. Perhaps that is the closest the new entity will get for a while. We combined the two bank's results because the merger took place as the poll was being conducted and it was impossible to differentiate the votes.