ME banking competitiveness 'to increase further'
Dubai, July 31, 2011
The banking sector in the Middle East will become more competitive over the coming two years according to the annual Barclays Corporate Global Banking Survey.
The survey was conducted among 200 top executives from leading banking and insurance services providers who attended Barclays fourth annual series of Global Banking Symposiums held in Dubai, London, Frankfurt and Singapore.
The research also revealed that banks and financial institutions across the globe are now focused on Asia as the world’s number one region, followed closely by Africa and the Middle East, to provide the industry with significant growth. Conversely, financial institutions see limited potential for growth in Europe and even less so in North America, with the region ranked last among all financial centres in the survey.
Matt Tuck, head of financial institutions, Barclays Corporate, said: “There is huge work being done by global banking groups to capitalise on the strong economic growth in developing markets. The move by the financial services sector to generate greater penetration across Africa is also gathering pace.”
Tuck added: “Europe is an incredibly important market for the banking industry, but there is a move towards spreading risk by diversifying geographies and also banking income streams. The banking industry is certainly in growth mode, but is becoming increasingly mobile and selective in where it targets its growth.”
Additionally, 81 per cent of respondents indicated that their relationships with customers and client have become much stronger in the past five years. Nearly 58 per cent of banking professionals in the region also believe that banking service standards have improved over the past years.
Sunil Rao, regional director, financial institutions, Mena, at Barclays Corporate, said: “Stronger relationships with clients play a key role in banking, yet the breadth and depth of services remains the key differentiator in corporate banking globally.”
“With our presence in the Middle East and North Africa, a dedicated team of professionals and a large client base, Barclays can leverage its size and synergies with financing solutions. This ideally positions us to meet the needs of our Financial Institution clients across the region and benefit from the region’s economic growth,” added Rao, who is based in the UAE.
In Mena, Barclays provides its Financial Institutions and Corporate clients with a full suite of lending, risk management, cash and liquidity management, trade finance and asset and sales financing services. -TradeArabia News Service