Latest articles from Western Europe

The bank that changed its spots

October 3, 2005

Alliance & Leicester is run by a chief executive with retailing in his blood. But he is repositioning it as a niche commercial player, as Michael Imeson reports.
A leopard cannot change its spots but a bank can change its make-up. Alliance & Leicester (A&L), Britain’s seventh largest bank and a former building society, is primarily a retail bank but is gradually developing its wholesale banking business.

UK cultivates property derivatives market

October 3, 2005

Many believe that property-linked instruments are poised to become the next big thing in the derivatives market – but they are not sure when. In the first of two articles, The Banker looks at how the market is likely to evolve.Natasha de Teran reports.
Concerns about overheating in the UK property market have been as widespread over the past few years as they ever have been, with many fearing the worst from the record rise in asset prices.


September 5, 2005

With an overall good performance, Andbanc has proven the fastest growing bank in Andorra. Its net profits have increased by 6.68%, assets have expanded by 15.2% and return on equity reached a remarkable 18.79%.

Germany thwarts Dublin’s bonds issue ambitions

September 5, 2005

Dublin’s aspirations of becoming a major European centre for the issuance of covered bonds have been dealt a heavy blow by two German banks.

Italy’s banking sector is mired in scandal

September 5, 2005

Bankers and journalists were busy in August speculating on the future of the Bank of Italy, the Banca Popolare Italiana (BPI, until recently Banca Popolare di Lodi), the Banca Antoniana Popolare Veneta (Antonveneta) and the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL).

Invoicing enters the digital age

August 1, 2005

Wendy Atkins looks at how the Nordic region is leading the charge in using and promoting innovative, cost-saving electronic invoicing systems.

Volkswagen Bank

August 1, 2005

Volkswagen, the auto maker that is one of Germany’s best-known companies, has been in trouble lately. Since late June, it has been plagued by an ugly bribery scandal involving senior executives in the personnel department.

Kaupthing Bunadarbanki

August 1, 2005

What do you call a bank that has doubled in size every year for the past eight years and that jumps 248 places in The Banker’s latest Top 1000 world banks listing to reach 211th place? Some call it a miracle.
Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson, the youthful chief executive of Iceland’s Kaupthing Bank, takes a more modest approach and calls it sustained rapid growth.
But how has Kaupthing catapulted itself onto the world stage, quintupled its balance sheet in the past three years and more than doubled its net earnings in 2004?

How Iceland trounced India with efficient management

August 1, 2005

India’s banking sector could learn some useful lessons from Iceland’s strong showing in The Banker’s Top 1000 world banks.

UniCredit steals a march on the competition

August 1, 2005

Italy’s UniCredit has bolstered its presence in the ‘new Europe’ with its purchase of HVB. But, as Nick Spiro reports, integration will present it with a real challenge.

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