The damage that a fraud investigation can wreak on a bank is already well documented, but what measures can banks take to protect themselves against such incidents and minimise the repercussions if a fraudster does slip through the net?
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The regulation of the global financial sector should be extended to include intensive monitoring of merger and acquisition deals, which are a key source of instability.
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The acquisition of an investment bank and subsidiaries across emerging Europe are transforming Sberbank from Russia's retail savings bank of choice into a genuine international player, just as Western competitors are retreating. But its management team is treading carefully.
With significant potential for growth in the country's real estate, retail and capital markets, Saudi Arabia's banks, which are already highly liquid and rapidly increasing their profitability, are making bold projections for their future successes.
High non-performing loan ratios and stringent, ever-changing government policies have put foreign-owned banks in Hungary under pressure. As established players change their footing, allocating a larger proportion of their funds abroad, a number of smaller local outfits are moving in to capitalise on the potential of niche markets.
Regulatory pressure and the high cost of capital are driving a radical change of asset ownership in Europe. But most banks could take years to sell their non-core assets.
The effects of eurozone deleveraging on central and eastern Europe should not be exaggerated, but certain countries look particularly exposed, especially in the Balkans. And the principles of European integration are under pressure.
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