July 2013

Bank of the Year

Bank of the Year: How Wells Fargo conquered America

Bank of the Year: How Wells Fargo conquered America

It’s the most successful bank of the post-financial crisis generation. But alongside numbers that make its rivals green with envy, it maintains a steadfastly old-fashioned approach to the business of banking. Is this what a model modern bank should look like? Or is there more to Wells Fargo than meets the eye?

Wells Fargo: A simple plan for the most competitive of markets

Understanding what Wells Fargo means to the wholesale banking industry is something of a riddle. This is a firm that ranked eighth for the first sixth months of 2013 in terms of all investment banking revenue for the Americas, ahead of such rivals as Deutsche Bank and Jefferies. In debt capital markets it ranks fourth, ahead of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Barclays, according to data from Dealogic.

Best investment bank

Best investment bank 2013: Blankfein steers Goldman back to the top

Best investment bank 2013: Blankfein steers Goldman back to the top

Goldman Sachs was under siege two years ago, but its clients have stuck with it. It tops the M&A advisory and ECM league tables, and when its clients want debt deals, it can do those too. Chief executive Lloyd Blankfein expresses pride at the firm’s stability. But although Goldman hasn’t undergone the soul-searching many competitors have endured while seeking out their new, post-crisis, Basle III business models, its universal bank competitors ask if Goldman’s focus is too narrow.

Goldman Sachs: Finding extra margin in ECM

The new criticism of Goldman is that it is too narrow a franchise, not that it trades against its clients. Monoline is the new proprietary. “Goldman had a great year in equities but it wasn’t an equities year,” says the head of commercial and investment banking at a large universal bank.

Awards for Excellence

China debate

Banking news

Lloyds leads the market cap winners

The UK bank is the best performer by market value growth during the past 18 months, edging out Bank of America; RBS and Brazilian banks are the worst performers in the first six months of 2013.

Markets news

Rattled retail buyers ditch bonds for loans

Rattled retail buyers ditch bonds for loans

Retail investors fled the credit markets during June, following the jump in US treasuries amid fears over Fed policy. But life insurers and pension funds, spotting desperately needed higher absolute yields, have been selectively buying.

Asia news

Latin America news

EEMEA news

Comment

The GSE money machine

The conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has been lucrative for the US government, but it can’t run the US mortgage market forever.

Banking: The herd mentality prevails

Banks are talking a good game about playing to their strengths. But a real differentiation of business models at the top of the industry has not happened yet.

Brazil: The positives of protests

Bears thrive on accelerating inflation, weak growth and a falling real. But a positive, reforming response to protests might transform sentiment in Brazil.

Bank competition: Too big to lose

Market share of financial businesses vital to supporting global economic growth is concentrating rapidly into the hands of a small group of the world’s biggest banks. Dealogic finds that of the $36.3 billion customers paid out in investment banking fees in the first six months of 2013, 56% of that total, fully $20.3 billion, went to just 10 banks.

Columns

Inside investment: Between two worlds

Market volatility is unsurprising. The actions of no longer really independent central banks are stoking the embers of a dying system. A final reckoning is coming.

Front End