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.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2020 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Opinion

Wholesale banking: ABN Amro cuts now, but ING is next

Exits at ABN Amro, including its big operation in commodity trade finance, raise questions about ING, as both firms enjoy much better returns in Dutch retail lending.

Dominic O'Neill on Europe 1920px.jpg

Think of a European bank that needs to shrink its corporate and investment bank.

Deutsche Bank or Societe Generale probably come to mind, but ABN Amro’s decision to run down all corporate banking outside Europe – and exit commodity trade finance completely – is a timely reminder of the next layer down.

Below the likes of Deutsche and SocGen, European wholesale banks’ competitive advantages are even less able to justify their costs after Covid-19 and as Basel reforms suck up more capital.

All the big Dutch banks fit in this next tier down, because their domestic market is so small. They maintain full-service investment banks.

But to a greater degree than the French, they are struggling to fight back against the US firms, even in their home market. Increasingly, they won’t have the client flows to justify expensive capital-markets capabilities.

tulips-cut-R-780.jpg

ABN Amro’s recent cuts, which will see its wholesale-banking exposures fall by a third, then raise the question of what might happen at ING: the Netherlands’ biggest bank.

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.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

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

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, 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

LOGIN NOW

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