The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Banks begin great financial retrenchment

Over the next few years the financial landscape could see a dramatic shift as market forces, politicians and tighter regulations make banks scale back their foreign businesses and focus more at home. Is the era of global banking over? Sudip Roy reports.

Changing of the guard
Raiffeisen stresses commitment to CEE


Mervyn King has not had the best of times. His critics have attacked him for his slow response to the banking and economic crisis that has struck the UK. But the governor of the Bank of England has made one of the more telling remarks of this crisis. He observed in the aftermath of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy and the failures of Iceland’s lenders that many banks today are "global in life but national in death".

King’s comment goes to the heart of a debate among politicians, supervisors and financiers about the scale and scope of banks.

That debate will take some time to be resolved. "We’re in a remarkable state of flux, the consequences of which will play out over the next two to three years," says Tim Plews, a partner at Clifford Chance in London.

One outcome already clear, however, is that global finance is undergoing dramatic change as banks cut credit lines, scale back their businesses and withdraw from certain markets and products.

In April, for example, the Bank for International Settlements announced that cross-border lending by banks shrank by $4.8

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree