Tuesday, January 29, 2019 Stamford, CT USA — U.S. banks are making a major push for the banking business of Europe’s largest companies.
The list of 2019 Greenwich Share Leaders in European Large Corporate Banking is still dominated by the big European banks, but U.S. rivals like Citi and J.P. Morgan are exploiting the struggles of some of the region’s biggest banks and climbing up the rankings tables as they pick up relationships and market penetration.
“U.S. banks have traditionally been reluctant to tap into balance sheets and compete in Europe on the basis of their willingness to lend to large European corporates,” says Greenwich Associates Managing Director Dr. Tobias Miarka. “But now they are being quite aggressive and taking advantage of their lower costs of capital to capture business.”
Two factors play an outsized role in European companies’ decisions about which banks to use: banks’ willingness to lend and innovation across banking products, processes and digital platforms. Lower funding costs give U.S. banks an advantage in both areas, enabling them to lend at more competitive rates and also afford to make big investments in product development and IT.
To be sure, U.S. banks are not the only ones delivering in these areas. On the contrary, HSBC, ranked No. 2 in market penetration across the European region, is also impressing corporate clients with its investments in the business and innovation—as is market leader BNP Paribas. Citi, at No. 4 in the rankings in market penetration, is the only U.S. bank to actually crack the elite ranks of the Greenwich Share Leaders this year, coming in just behind third-place finisher Deutsche Bank and tied statistically with UniCredit.
The extent of the U.S. advance is in the results of the 2019 Greenwich Excellence Awards in Large Corporate Banking and Cash Management. Of the 22 awards given across 15 categories, U.S banks Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan took home a combined total of 16 awards.
There is no doubt that U.S. banks have momentum, and there are signs that the U.S. advance could be starting to extend beyond Europe’s biggest companies. Regional European banks with extensive local networks and longstanding relationships with local companies dominate, however. These deep ties explain why regional banks like Germany’s Bayerische Landesbank and Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo earn the title of 2019 Greenwich Quality Leaders in European Large Corporate Banking in their respective countries.