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Trade Finance Survey 2020: US and Europe bring two models to transaction banking

Will it be the banks that have built strong, steady relationships or those with big budgets that take transaction banking into the future?


JPMorgan is making a move that has some European transaction bankers shaking in their boots. 

A year ago, the US bank announced that it would be expanding its commercial banking business to cover Europe and Asia. The target was and is mid-cap and middle-market corporates (with a capitalization of between around $250 million and a few billion) – the types of companies the bank hopes will flock to it, eager to leverage the bank’s global network and ambitious investment plans. 

“When an American investment banking giant says that they are interested in the mid-cap and middle-market corporate space in Europe, we are going to get nervous,” says one transaction banker at a European bank based in Paris. 

“We don’t have deep pockets like JPMorgan,” says another transaction banker in Frankfurt. “They have money to spend while we have to be incredibly disciplined in this current environment.

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