It has been a long road back for RBS’s investment banking unit from the day that the British government stepped in to prop up the bank with a £20bn cash injection. The story of its partial recovery involves two separate restructurings, the slashing of £700bn from its assets, a surprising (and temporary) surge in profits and a series of ruthless decisions.
The process of restructuring Greece’s sovereign debt was, for the banking professionals involved, one of the most complicated they had ever experienced. The fact that it was accomplished in nine months was, perhaps, a minor miracle. Here, IFR examines how the deal made it over the line.
Global investment banking fees are expected to drop 10% in 2012. But that number flatters the reality experienced by a number of market participants. To many, the year felt a lot worse than that.
The JOBS Act has made the IPO process for smaller companies in the US quicker, cheaper and easier. That may have boosted listings – and possibly even employment (and not just among bankers). But has it taken away the time investors need to make informed decisions?
New capital and liquidity requirements under Basel III are likely to have all kinds of consequences – including a slowdown in lending across the spectrum. Banks must find new ways of drumming up capital and cleaning up their balance sheets.
A string of insider-trading scandals in recent years has tarnished the reputation of Japan’s banking community and prompted the country’s Financial Services Agency to review regulations on insider information. Observers hope the efforts will clean up the industry and restore faith in Japanese banks.
It is not easy to kill the loan markets. But with a sharp drop in volumes, the European syndications market certainly looked close to death in 2012. Nevertheless, bankers are confident that syndications will rebound strongly in the year ahead.
Users of derivatives, both in the banking industry and the wider world, have spent months gearing up for the profound changes in regulations that 2013 will bring. But as implementation of the changes comes ever closer, room for considerable confusion remains.
Argentina has imposed capital controls, seized assets, nationalised companies – and shows little sign of yielding in a bitter and long-running legal battle with its so-called holdout creditors. Antagonising the markets is no way to attract the long-term investment the country needs, which raises the question: how much longer can this go on?
From the ECB’s cheap money to the wildly different price expectations of buyers and sellers, there are plenty of reasons why Europe’s banks are not deleveraging quickly enough. Will they pick up the pace in 2013?
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the Asian financial crisis 15 years ago, and although there is still plenty of work to be done, the region has made spectacular progress. The current turmoil in Europe has left Asia looking like a safe bet.