Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi claims the title of the world’s oldest bank, but not for much longer. In recent years, hammered by bad debts, MPS has survived only with sizable aid from the government and will soon be absorbed by UniCredit, assuming the latter bank’s conditions are met. This union will create Italy’s new banking behemoth.
Covid-19 has shaped and continues to reshape the financial services sector. Demonstrating a responsible response to the challenges became just as important as the business itself, in fact it became the business: “doing the right thing” became an imperative as the context aligned the success of financial institutions to those of their stakeholders, throwing into stark relief what it really means to be sustainable.
The investment world is never free of a popular new kid on the block; special purpose acquisition companies are attracting significant investor interest as they help companies transition from private to public. Will these shell companies go down in investment history as another short-term craze, or will they become a permanent part of the IPO process? The jury is undecided, but the SPAC is an avenue that investors should consider.
The pandemic has accelerated existing digitalisation trends in banking, giving banks more justification for not only closing branches but also consolidating. Many European banks struggled over the past decade to meet capital requirements introduced after the financial crisis. Consolidation through mergers and acquisitions is well underway, with the blessings of governments and regulators that view it as a means to streamline the financial sector and strengthen its profitability and resilience.
With COVID-19 still dominating the narrative across the global banking industry, arguably the biggest challenge lenders will face in 2021 is how best to maximise the customer experience amidst such a challenging environment. Indeed, given the low interest rates that have continued to weigh heavily on banks’ net interest income (NII)
In recent weeks, the eyes of the financial world have been firmly fixed on Turkey, since its lira plunged in reaction to a doubling of trade tariffs by the United States.
The European Union is exactly that, a union. This interconnectedness works well when all members are doing well, but what happens when one is not? Many investors are concerned about the health of banking in one member country in particular, Italy, and how its struggles may infect the Eurozone as a whole.
After a heavy recession brought on by the military conflict with Russia, Ukraine’s economy and banking system now appear to be firmly on the mend. Indeed, things have improved to such an extent that by the end of May, Moody’s had revised its outlook for Ukrainian banking from negative to stable.