Latest articles from Comment

Gulf banks enjoy bonanza

August 1, 2005

Gulf banks have continued to increase profits, reporting record profit growth in excess of 50% for the first half of 2005.

Argentina attempts to stem speculative inflows

August 1, 2005

The argentine authorities are introducing capital controls on speculative inflows even though Chile abolished its controls in 2001 amid controversy over their effect.

Shared service centre use is set to rise

August 1, 2005

Cost pressures and increased competition will prompt a growing proportion of financial services companies worldwide to expand their shared service centres and the range of business processes they are willing to outsource, both locally and offshore, according to a survey report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

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.

China’s new currency regime raises questions

August 1, 2005

China’s decision on July 21 to replace its currency peg to the US dollar with a managed floating exchange rate regime has been welcomed by those clamouring for currency reform. But the relatively small 2.1% revaluation of the renminbi leaves many questions unanswered.

UK banks should go Continental

August 1, 2005

Storm clouds are gathering above the UK banking sector. Azhar Rizvi recommends taking shelter in continental Europe.

Prospect of new boss gives SWIFT chance to accelerate

August 1, 2005

As Leonard Schrank announces his retirement, speculation begins over which management style would best fit SWIFT.

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.

Inclusive agenda needed to combat terrorism

August 1, 2005

While tighter security is essential in preventing terrorism so, too, is addressing its root causes. This includes tackling disaffection with globalisation, which must be seen to benefit the wider community.

Philippines’ leader steadies herself for a bumpy ride to reform

August 1, 2005

Political life is seldom dull in the Philippines. Two past presidents – Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada – have been brought down by popular demonstrations. Now President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is fighting to stay in office and carry out essential reforms. “I must do what has to be done and damn the torpedoes for a while,” she told The Banker’s senior editor, Karina Robinson. For an understanding of the various contradictory forces that make reform such a challenge in this troubled country, see this month’s Karina’s Kolumn and the article on the Philippines that follows.

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