All articles by William Cain

William Cain

From niche to mainstream

Citis mobile banking strategy in the US has been derided for low take-up rates, but the bank has now signalled a significant shift in strategy Trying to position itself as a global leader in m-banking, Citi is moving away from its previous focus on downloadable thin applications

ANZ looks to break China

ANZ, which has just been given a full banking licence in Vietnam, has elaborated on its strategy for the Chinese retail banking market Alex Thursby, ANZs new CEO for the Asia-Pacific region, spoke to William Cain about plans to increase the banks earnings from markets that include Malaysia, Cambodia and Indonesia. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Australias fourth largest financial services group, has turned its attentions to incorporating locally in China after being granted a banking licence in Vietnam.

A golden decade of bank profits

Twenty of the top US and European banks made a combined profit of $1.2 trillion in the decade between 1998-2007, according to RBI research, underscoring just how successful the industry has been and just how different the industry will be after the credit crunch William Cain and John Hill report.The industry turmoil demolishing banking markets in the US, UK and, threateningly, across the globe comes at the end of an unprecedented period of banking growth in many markets Banks in the US and UK particularly have enjoyed extremely profitable times unsurprisingly, it is the players in these two markets that have been hit hardest by the abrupt market collapse

Cards central to global BNP push

The growth of BNP Paribas cards business will be absolutely central to its push to become a global retail banking superpower, according to Gilbert Arira, the banks head of cards The reorganisation of BNP Paribass retail banking business unit will help unlock the underexploited potential of its global cards business, according to the French banks head of cards and electronic banking.

Obopay, Grameen aim to bank a billion

William Cain reports on a project that aims to bring one billion people in some of the poorest parts of the developing world into the banking fold over the next 10 years by exploiting the growing use of mobile phones Obopay, the US mobile payments service provider, and Grameen Solutions, a business founded by 2006 Nobel Peace Prize-winner Dr Muhammad Yunus, have launched an initiative that aims to bank one billion of the worlds poorest people by 2018.

Hope for Homeowners comes into play

With mortgage delinquencies on the rise in the country, the US government has enacted the Hope for Homeowners Act, which aims to reduce foreclosures in a way that is cost effective to the banking industry

An m-banking experiment

Former First Direct and Egg executives Steve Townend and Dominic Keen are setting up one of the first mobile-only banks, claiming the channel can redefine transaction banking

MUFG bets on US upswing

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Japans largest banking group, has taken full control of its US subsidiary, signing a deal to buy the 34.6 percent of UnionBanCal that it did not already own Other Japanese banks, namely Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho Financial, have also signed deals with Western peers William Cain reports.Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) has signed a deal with Californias UnionBanCal to take full control of the bank after improving its initial, rejected offer by 17 percent

The rise of the European housing bank

Erstes Romanian subsidiary BCR has joined the growing number of banks in Central and Eastern Europe offering bauspar home loan schemes, savings programmes which give access to a discounted loan William Cain examines a system worth 200 billion in Germany alone with current NPLs of just 0.03 percent.BCR, Erstes Romanian subsidiary, has launched a housing bank which helps customers benefit from state bonuses on savings and beneficial loan interest rates The housing bank, launched locally as BCR Banca pentru Locuinte (BCR BpL), is based on a similar model to German bauspar products, in which customers are contracted to make savings for 18-24 months to qualify for a low interest loan

All to play for in UK mortgage malaise

William Cain reports.Five of the UKs top banks claimed more than 100 percent of the net mortgage lending market in the first half of 2008, taking higher volumes and margins despite turmoil in the financial markets