Global retail banking: A particular breed heading for extinction

When HSBC and Citigroup were expanding, they were offering best-in-class consumer banking. As technology improved, local rivals have overtaken them

HSBC
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For those big lenders still clinging on to their overseas consumer businesses, the pandemic has made retreat inevitable

Elisa Martinuzzi | Bloomberg
Despite a multitude of existential threats, traditional deposit-taking banks with brick-and-mortar branches look set to survive a while longer. But there’s one particular breed of this type of lender that’s headed for extinction: The global retail bank. While some consumers will still fancy popping into their local bank, why would anyone need an international corporation to provide this service?

Since the financial crisis, pressure from regulatory demands and the squeeze on margins from declining interest rates has forced lenders to concentrate on what they excel at — be it commercial, retail or investment banking. For those big lenders still clinging on

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First Published: Feb 25 2021 | 12:17 AM IST

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