The 21st century has been witnessing complex developments in the banking industry offering an array of services to the world markets and controlling dollars in cash and assets worth several billions. The advancements in technology have enabled them to find new business…
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such as money transfers, payroll services, bank reconcilement, credit services such as asset based financing, lines of credit, commercial loans, or commercial real estate loans, deposit services such as checking or savings account services and foreign exchange. The latter involves services such as securitization, financing of mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, underwriting of shares, private placements of equity shares and debt securities with the investing institutions. These two services which were specialized by two distinct set of bankers are now being increasingly converged to be undertaken by same banks in view of deregulation of the financial sector. The banks have also started entering into insurance businesses. These changes have catapulted the banks to become an important and integral part of global business environment (Trends in the banking industry). In this context, this paper seeks to trace the recent trends in top tier banks in the U.S. and other countries in respect of products, competition and global advancement.
Since World War II through1970, there had been not many bank failures as it used to be a stable business. There were just ten bank failures in the U.S during the postwar period. It was only after deregulation, and liberalization identified as the catalysts for competition and growth, bank failures began to raise during 1980s and 1990s. Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (2004) and other studies of Blommestein and Lange (1993) and Blommestein (1997) provide a thorough analysis of bank failures in the U.S., Japan, Europe and others. Figure 1 showing the trend of banking failures during the period from 1934-2003 is clearly illustrative of this. The deregulation and liberalization has resulted in consolidation of banking industry during the last twenty five years. In the U.S. alone, the number of commercial banks which was 13,000 in 1980 has come down to 7,600 as in 2005. The last two decades have been characterized by
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