Latest articles from Western Europe

UK

January 2, 2006

Barclays
John Varley, CEO

Ole Rossing

December 5, 2005

Denmark’s Saxo Bank is 50% bank and 50% technology company, says its chief information officer. He tells Dan Barnes why this hybrid has been so successful.

The Conservatives

December 5, 2005

When Dietrich Hoppenstedt, president of the German Sparkassen Association (DSGV), retires at the end of September 2006, many of the association’s faithful will be very sorry to see him go.

The other German Struggle

December 5, 2005

Germany’s political battles may be over but the war over reform of the country’s banking sector has only just begun. Jan Wagner reports.
While some kind of political truce has been reached in Germany, the real fight for financial reform rages on. By the standards of modern banking systems everywhere, Germany’s three-pillar system of private banks, state-owned savings banks (Sparkassen) and co-operative banks is antiquated and inefficient.

New guild is better late than never

December 5, 2005

References to the Guild of International Bankers in London may cause some readers to think it is a venerable institution with deep historical roots.

Spurned suitors could join forces against LSE

December 5, 2005

The London Stock Exchange could find there are worse things than being bought by a smaller foreign concern.

Deutsche’s smart buys reaffirm retail ambition

November 7, 2005

The German bank is ramping up its retail strategy by acquiring small banks – but is avoiding shopping at home.

Beyond mere profit maximisation

November 7, 2005

Juan Ramón Quintás, chairman of the Confederación Española de Cajas de Ahorros, Spain’s savings banks federation, tells Jules Stewart about the benefits of being mutual.

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.

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