Latest articles from Western Europe

Banks feel effects of cajas’ success

November 7, 2005

Opposition is mounting to the privileged position of Spain’s ultra successful savings banks, says Jules Stewart.

Why RBS needs spin

November 7, 2005

Despite a meteoric rise to global powerhouse, the RBS board has managed to transform itself from darling to demon in the eyes of its shareholders. Geraldine Lambe charts the bank’s fall from grace.
When is an excellent management team not an excellent management team? When your shareholders don’t believe it. Such is the case with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) shareholders, and their jaundiced view was amply displayed when chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin was asked if he was a megalomaniac at August’s half-year results conference. Where once they lauded Sir Fred as emperor in all his finery, now shareholders behave as if he has no clothes.

Arnold’s post-Abbey ponderings

November 7, 2005

Former Abbey CEO Luqman Arnold tells Karina Robinson about his future plans and why it is important to take time out occasionally.

Without frontiers

November 7, 2005

The European Commission wants to boost efficiency in the mortgage market by creating a single European market for the sector. But care needs to be taken in establishing such a market, which must be free and open.

Rejecting Merkel risks pushing Germany down a Japanese path

October 3, 2005

Germany’s reluctance to fully endorse the pro-market reform Angela Merkel could send Europe’s largest economy into deeper decline.

Foreign shores provide growth

October 3, 2005

Stephen Timewell reports from Reykjavik on Iceland’s rapid transformation into a pan-European banking force. Iceland is a truly amazing country. And it is not just the volcanoes, the geo-thermal springs or even singer Bjork that make it unique.
Iceland boasts a banking sector that almost doubled in asset size last year, an economy that grew at 5.2% in 2004 and an expected 6.6% this year and a GDP per capita amongst the highest in the world at $40,250 in 2004.

Buoyancy in a weak economy

October 3, 2005

Banks are displaying considerable resilience, with their profits growing, in an economy that is climbing out of recession.By Peter Wise.
Portuguese banks are nothing if not resilient. This will be the fifth year in which the economy has underperformed average EU growth. Recovery since a deep recession in 2003, when GDP growth contracted by 1.1%, has been weak and the outlook for the coming two years is less than buoyant.

Criticism of foreign ownership grows

October 3, 2005

Economic stability has brought foreign banks streaming into Turkey to buy or partner its own banks, causing some locals to question the trend. Michael Kuser reports from Istanbul.

EU negotiations could be tough

October 3, 2005

Turkey is bracing itself for gruelling EU membership talks.Metin Demirsar reports on the state of its economy and the steps that the government must take to meet the union’s requirements.

MAIN STORY: Hapoalim joins rush into Turkey with stake in C Bank

October 3, 2005

Israel’s biggest financial institution, Bank Hapoalim, announced on September 13 that it had signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire a 50% share in Turkey’s C Kredi ve Kalkinma Bankasi (C Bank) for $113m, with the aim of breaking into the lucrative Turkish mortgage and project finance markets.

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