Latest articles from Western Europe

BoE reforms sterling markets

August 2, 2004

The Bank of England isproposing reform of the sterling money markets in a bid to reduce the volatility of short-term interest rates. In what the bank says are the “most far reaching reforms for a quarter of a century or more”, it will replace the present system, which involves frequent bank intervention to stabilise rates, with an arrangement modelled on best practice that should minimise interest rate swings.

French savings merger spawns a global player

July 2, 2004

French government efforts to encourage mergers between state-owned and private banks are paying off, says Jan Wagner. But Germany’s Sparkassen are resisting efforts to get them to follow suit.

Working its way towards the West

July 2, 2004

Turkey is endeavouring to meet requirements for EU membership by extending its IMF standby agreement to combat spiralling debt while attempting to recoup money that was used to rehabilitate shaky private banks. Metin Demirsar reports from Istanbul.

Germany’s VDH takes control of European covered bonds dispute

June 2, 2004

German mortgage banks are campaigning to develop a common legal definition and standard for covered bonds. The dispute was sparked last year by three UK banks issuing covered bonds which do not legally qualify as this asset class.

Plenty of action at the EU’s edge

June 2, 2004

Ireland continues to be a magnet for foreign banks conducting international business, and some are now targeting the domestic retail market. Michael Imeson reports from Dublin.

Another success for the corporate healer

June 2, 2004

Intesa managing director and CEO Corrado Passera tells Karina Robinson how he plans to keep the bank on an upward path after turning it around.

Confidence rises

June 2, 2004

A new generation of directors, bankers, economists and politicians are determined that Portugal will be completely transformed, writes Peter Wise in Lisbon.

Results of resilience

June 2, 2004

Portuguese banks have proved themselves buoyant in a challenging economic environment, diversifying and cost-cutting to achieve good results. Peter Wise reports.
Recession? What recession? Despite six successive quarters of economic downturn, Portuguese banks are achieving robust growth. Most of them outshone analysts’ forecasts by a wide margin in 2003 and several recorded their best annual results ever.

Back in balance

June 2, 2004

Millennium BCP is emerging from a spate of troubles that hit its share value hard. Focusing closely on core business has helped the turnaround.

Beyond the border

June 2, 2004

Portuguese banks wanting to expand into foreign markets are still searching for the right locations and client bases for making competitive inroads.

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