Much has been made of Europe’s struggling banking sector since the turn of the decade. In October, for instance, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that across the world, banks that were in charge of approximately $12 trillion of assets will continue to remain vulnerable, even if a global economic recovery takes hold.
The developed world’s economy has decelerated since the great financial crisis (GFC) of 2008, and despite the efforts of governments and central banks, growth rates have stagnated while inflation remains well below target.
Japan boasts the world’s third-largest economy, and yet it has been stalled by deflation, low wage growth and slowing GDP. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s three-arrow Abenomics policy, introduced four years ago, was meant to counter years of economic stagnation, but despite some success, it may be time to re-evaluate the plan.
Just a few years ago, the idea of negative interest rates was considered by many to be no more than an academic curiosity. After all, why would anyone pay for the privilege of lending money?
Over the past few years, it has seemed that there are very few growth opportunities for the banking sector. Islamic finance is an exciting new prospect for a number of geographic regions and their respective banking sectors—with banks in the UK and