In April the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) commemorated a quarter-century of history, with president Suma Chakrabarti emphasizing how far the Bank had come since its first investment—to WBK Bank in Poland (now Bank Zachodni WBK).
Nordea Chief Financial Officer Heikki Ilkka, appointed in December after many years with Ernst &Young, talked with Global Finance editors about how the bank is handling negative interest rates and regulatory challenges, and how it deploys technology to satisfy its customers.
He’s a kickboxer and a football fanatic, an accomplished pianist and possibly the next president of France—and only 38.
Ralph Hamers, CEO and chairman of ING Group, talks with Global Finance about how ING’s lending practices and use of fintech are bolstering the bank—and sustaining the environment.
Alberto Bisin, professor of econo-mics at New York University and fellow at the Econometric Society, studies social, financial and behavioral economics, regulation and income distribution. He spoke with Global Finance on Brexit and other global risks.
Capital Markets | Regulation
“Nothing will make us deviate or change our course. We are not exiting our operations in any of our African markets,” declared Maria Ramos, CEO of Barclays Africa.
Nordea Markets Investment Banking is an integrated part of wholesale banking in the Nordea Group. A move from different legacy systems to one single platform is part of Nordea’s simplification program. Svante Andreen, Nordea co-head of markets investment banking, expects the move to foster agility, enabling Nordea to become a truly digital bank.
Trends | Taxation
As part of a crackdown on generous tax incentives across the European Union, in January the European Commission (EC) demanded Belgium claw back €700 million ($762 million) in tax breaks from at least 35 European firms.
Spain: Legislators in Catalonia elected Carles Puigdemont, who has been pushing for independence for the big Spanish region for years, as president on January 10.
Capital Markets | Fixed Income
A bail-in provision, which places the onus on bondholders and other investors to write down their holdings in the event of winding up a troubled financial institution within the European Union, came into effect on January 1, 2016.
The foundations for economic recovery have been laid by Matteo Renzi’s government, which is tackling fundamental issues at the heart of Italy’s problems. But he has yet to work his magic on public spending.
Taxation | Capital Markets
In December 2015, 10 European Union members agreed on key aspects of a harmonized financial transaction tax (FTT).
Traditional banks are pulling back from lending to small and midsize businesses. Just as happened in the US, funds are filling the void.
Management | Corporate Governance
With the enactment of the Modern Slavery Act in October, the United Kingdom has made a new addition to the growing body of compliance regulations sprouting up globally.
Iceland has recovered smartly from the worst recession in its history. Now it must keep inflation at bay—and that might require a monetary overhaul.
Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg call on old and new strengths to jump-start growth.
Capital Markets | Remedial Measures
The European Commission cites four concrete steps for kick-starting the Capital Market Union
Global Finance interviews senior executives from some of the banks featured in this year’s World’s Safest Banks rankings.
Some green shoots lurk beneath the region’s raging civil wars, economic woes and political unrest.