Pity Europe’s banks. For years, they have been in retreat, losing business in their own back yards to Wall Street rivals. Now the battlefront is shifting – but what looks like an opportunity to gain ground may be just the opposite.
In wholesale banking, the pursuit of growth has moved away from the dealing floor – where revenue has been shrinking and will, at best, remain flat – to the less glamorous business of helping companies with their day-to-day transactions. The higher returns available from helping corporates manage their cash piles and make faster payments are luring everyone from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to fintech entrepreneurs.