Latest articles from Western Europe

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.

New EU minnow makes a splash

August 1, 2005

While the EU’s political and currency projects grind to a halt in many of the big states, Malta has just joined the ERM. Next stop, the euro. Michael Imeson reports.
The past few months have been tough for proponents of closer union in Europe. But in Malta, which joined the EU just over 12 months ago, the integration process continues.

Rabobank seals $90m deal for Sekerbank stake

August 1, 2005

Holland’s Rabobank has acquired a 36.5% stake in Sekerbank for $90m, as European banks continue to snap up shares in Turkish banks ahead of the country’s membership talks with the EU in October.

Santander spots an overlooked opportunity

August 1, 2005

When Santander bought Abbey, not everyone agreed it was a good idea. But its strategy for turning around the ailing bank has proved the doubters wrong, as Brian Caplen reports.

Savings banks defend special status

August 1, 2005

The war of words between savings banks and commercial banks is heating up as the European Commission prepares its study of obstacles to banking consolidation in the EU.
“The cajas [Spanish savings banks] acquire the leftovers of bankrupt banks,” said Juan Ramón Quintás, chairman of the Confederación Española de Cajas de Ahorros (CECA) – the association of Spanish savings banks.

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