There is an optimistic feeling among the CEOs of Spain's leading banks, as profits and domestic conditions improve. With the European Central Bank's imminent asset quality review expected to be passed with flying colours, the country's lenders are now looking beyond survival and towards growth, both domestically and internationally.
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If the early 2000s were all about the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, now attention is shifting to the up-and-coming countries of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey – the MINTs. And with rapid economic growth predicted, retail banks in these countries will be under enormous pressure to keep up.
Over the past two years banks have been hit by a huge wave of litigation relating to residential mortgages, interbank rates, consumer insurance and money laundering. Though lenders have largely managed to absorb the costs fairly easily, it seems that the regulators are not quite finished when it comes to dishing out fines.
China's leading e-commerce companies are using their wealth of consumer knowledge to tap into the country's state-dominated banking market, introducing innovative new products that threaten to overshadow the more conventional offerings of local banks.
Europe’s equity capital markets picked up in 2013 after three years of declining volumes. Equity bankers are confident that this year will be just as busy, even if supply from Europe’s banks – traditionally the biggest issuers – wanes.
Addressing the economic needs of the billions of individuals at the base of the global pyramid has long been seen as one of the great opportunities left for financial institutions. However, this section of society is now beginning to come up with its own solutions – thanks to a spate of 'reverse innovation' – leaving the large developing world lenders superfluous to its needs.
Competition and non-performing loans are rising among Russia's consumer lenders, but their profit performance is still well ahead of the rest of the Russian banking sector
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