September 2018

September 2018

Impact banking: Can this generation of leaders change banking for good?

From the United Nations and the European Commission to customers and shareholders, the world’s banks face increasing pressure not only to consider their broader role in society but also to take actions that have a positive impact on it. There is no doubt that most chief executives take this challenge seriously. Whether they take it far enough remains to seen.

Top Stories

Watch out world, here come Chinese government bonds

Watch out world, here come Chinese government bonds

As Chinese bond markets are set to be included in indices for the first time, a big change is coming to the global financial system. Chinese government bonds could become the new Bunds in portfolios, but Xi Jinping might have bigger targets in his sights.

Inside European banking’s great digital experiment

Bank chief executives in Europe are increasingly obsessed with their new or rebooted digital arms. These businesses promise to fend off new competitors and capture a next generation of clients, while piloting front- and back-office innovations. They could even offer the best chance of expanding in the eurozone, making banking union a reality. But will these investments merely play into the hands of the new rivals and hasten the banks’ decline?

Outlook darkens for the Gulf’s competing powers

In early 2016, the Middle East’s two largest countries looked set to become the world’s most vibrant frontier markets. Two years on, many bankers doubt that either Iran or Saudi Arabia can live up to these expectations.

CSR

Meet the champions of global impact banking

Meet the champions of global impact banking

Any important new market needs its innovators, cheerleaders and pioneers… As banks try to build more responsible and sustainable businesses, these are the champions of impact banking at 10 of the world’s biggest firms. From green and blue finance to financial inclusion and social banking, they are leading the way and setting an agenda for others to follow.

Impact banking: Triodos – a banking ethos that works for all?

Triodos Bank is probably the most sustainable bank in the world. Behind every decision it makes – the loans and investments it underwrites, the people it hires, the suppliers it uses, the way it reports and the way it serves its stakeholders – lies sustainability. It also makes a profit. Is it a model for the broader industry?

Impact banking: Erste – the social banking network

The transition to capitalism has brought prosperity to much of emerging Europe but left large sections of society struggling to catch up – now Austria’s Erste Group is going back to its roots to bring prosperity to the region through social banking.

Impact banking: Microfinance comes of age in Kyrgyzstan

Over 20 years after microfinance first arrived in Kyrgyzstan, the largest players are transforming into banks to lower funding costs and increase financial inclusion. Can they convince the country’s farmers to put their cash into banks instead of cows?

Impact banking: Vancity – delivering on the triple bottom line

Vancity is the largest credit union in Canada, but by 2007 it was acting like a commercial bank – yet now, after steering every part of the business back to being mission-based, it is delivering record profits, lower risk, new membership and improved employee engagement. Has it shown that the ‘triple bottom line’ of people-planet-profit can be achieved?

Western Europe

SSM’s Angeloni: Integration will help beat US banks

SSM’s Angeloni: Integration will help beat US banks

Euromoney talks to ECB Single Supervisory Mechanism board member Ignazio Angeloni about the challenges the SSM faces, and how eurozone integration, and in some cases bank mergers, could help improve European banks’ competitiveness.

Banking

The secret heroes of Iceland’s banking resolution

The secret heroes of Iceland’s banking resolution

Part one: Iceland’s banking crisis still fascinates and appals in equal measure. The first steps towards resolution were led by a group of unheralded officials and advisers for whom the events of late 2008 and 2009 were like sending out half a football team to play a competitive match. Ten years after it happened, this is their story.

Fintech

World Bank launches first bond on blockchain

World Bank launches first bond on blockchain

With a modest-sized two-year Aussie dollar transaction, the World Bank may have ushered in a new era of speed, efficiency and transparency in debt capital markets, with deals announced, order books built and bonds priced and allocated on blockchain.

Real estate

Calling the top for real estate?

Calling the top for real estate?

Banks and non-banks are battling for market share in a property market that finally seems to be slowing down in the face of multiple headwinds.

Asia Pacific

Third time lucky for Taiwan’s Tsai?

President Tsai’s flagship foreign policy aims to redirect bank lending and investment away from China and towards southeast Asia. Taiwan has tried to diversify twice before and failed – will it work the third time?

De Ferrari ditches Credit Suisse for AMP – an altogether different job

Francesco de Ferrari was running private banking for Asia at Credit Suisse – arguably one of the most important and well-positioned roles in the bank – so why has he given it up to become CEO of beleaguered Australian wealth manager AMP, a place so toxic it lost its chief executive and chairperson within a fortnight in April?

Debate

Latin America

Banks forecast brighter Mexico outlook

Banks forecast brighter Mexico outlook

With presidential elections and the threat to Nafta hanging over Mexico, international investors pared risk to the country and deal flow slowed. Finally, clarity is returning and the prospects for capital markets activity are looking better. But could Amlo’s presidency change prospects?

The ups and downs of HSBC’s Mexico way

For the first time since HSBC’s acquisition of a Mexican bank in 2002, its franchise is enjoying positive momentum. Country chief Nuno Matos says more customers and a new culture are key to getting the bank’s market share back.

Capital concerns hamper Latam fintechs

As the pool of fintech startups in Latin America deepens, ambitious founders have regional expansion in their sights. But varying regulations and difficulty accessing capital make such growth difficult.

Book review

Comment

Capital markets

Central & Eastern Europe

Columns

Sideways: Dick Fuld – my part in his downfall

As the 10th anniversary of the failure of Lehman Brothers arrives, I have been asked to share my reminiscences of when I realized a global credit crisis was looming and why so many senior financial figures ignored my warnings.

Front End