When a bank merger happens, it’s not just two financial institutions that are joining together — it’s two sets of customers. Understandably, the customers of acquired banks can feel a lot of uncertainty about the future of their financial services, and these doubts can lead to increased customer attrition.
Technology has soared during the COVID crisis, but the outlook for fintech funding has been mixed, as investors prioritized surety, especially during the pandemic’s early days. Although fintech funding experienced a pronounced drop during the first half of 2020 across VC, PE and M&A, it has recovered impressively, auguring well for 2021.
The retail banking industry is undergoing a significant period of transformation. Changes in consumer behaviour, technological developments, and regulatory requirements, are all creating new demands. Consumers now want to open savings accounts in seconds, have a mortgage in minutes, and open a business account with one click.
Once the exclusive domain of banks, lending is breaking out, enabled by fintechs and big techs. As technology snowballs, digital lending is becoming a worldwide phenomenon but is especially evident in Asia, with providers sprouting up and gaining a footing, buoyed by the pandemic and the system changes it has introduced. What are the current trends, and what can we expect to see develop on Asia’s digital-lending front in 2021?
Mergers and acquisitions are often a good solution for ailing banks and have been tossed around more frequently lately as the answer for Europe’s financial institutions, many of which are struggling with internal issues along with external factors such as anemic growth and low interest rates. While consolidation brings many benefits, it may not be the best remedy for European banks right now, especially when it involves substantial cross-border deals.
Chief financial officers’ talents are too often lost to mundane, routine tasks that do not add much value to their important positions as their CEOs’ main advisers. Fortunately, technological innovations are removing much of the burden, freeing CFOs to fulfill their roles as prime movers and shakers, guiding their companies to new heights. Cloud technology, enterprise resource planning and artificial intelligence are proving to be time-saviors for today’s busy CFOs.
The sub-Saharan Africa business boom has lost a lot of its momentum in recent years, but mergers and acquisitions have picked up the slack. All across the area, banks are merging as an avenue to improve their balance sheets and gain market share in the lackluster-growth environment. Although this approach may work to achieve some goals, there are downside factors that banks should consider before jumping into the M&A lifeboat.
Interview with Mr. Ricardo Cervera and Mr. Carlos Vara, Managing Directors and Founding Partners, VACE Partners
Private investment bank VACE Partners recognizes that it is only as strong as its team is; combining “intelligence, energy and enthusiasm with experience, ability, relationships and knowledge” has been VACE’s winning formula, enabling it to close on several important deals since its inception a decade ago. International Banker spoke with Ricardo Cervera and Carlos Vara, managing directors and founding partners, to learn more about this rising star on Mexico’s financial horizon.
Chinese president Xi Jinping calls it the “project of the century”. Part of his roadmap to Chinese prosperity, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), presents opportunities not only for Corporate China but for financial institutions and corporates the world over.
While the pace of bank M&A transactions in 2018 has been on par with the same period in 2017, deal valuations are on the rise. During the first quarter, the aggregate value of all announced bank deals was $4.08 billion, down sharply from $9.08 billion a year earlier