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Trends in the banking industry

At the beginning of the 21st century, the biggest banks in the industrial world have become complex financial organizations that offer a wide variety of services to international markets and control billions of dollars in cash and assets. Supported by the latest technology, banks are working to identify new business niches, to develop customized services, to implement innovative strategies and to capture new market opportunities. With further globalization, consolidation, deregulation and diversification of the financial industry, the banking sector will become even more complex.

Although, the banking industry does not operate in the same manner all over the world, most bankers think about corporate clients in terms of the following:

  • Commercial banking - banking that covers services such as cash management (money transfers, payroll services, bank reconcilement), credit services (asset-based financing, lines of credits, commercial loans or commercial real estate loans), deposit services (checking or savings account services) and foreign exchange;
  • Investment banking - banking that covers an array of services from asset securitization, coverage of mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructuring to securities underwriting, equity private placements and placements of debt securities with institutional investors.

Over the past decade there has been an increasing convergence between the activities of investment and commercial banks, because of the deregulation of the financial sector. Today, some investment and commercial banking institutions compete directly in money market operations, private placements, project finance, bonds underwriting and financial advisory work.

Furthermore, the modern banking industry has brought greater business diversification. Some banks in the industrialized world are entering into investments, underwriting of securities, portfolio management and the insurance businesses. Taken together, these changes have made banks an even more important entity in the global business community.

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