It’s been a decade since the global financial crisis and the truly big, global banks still standing are, for the most part, American. Europe’s lenders in particular are still struggling to find their feet, and it doesn’t help that US rivals are steadily encroaching on their turf.
Take JPMorgan: the biggest US bank hired a clutch of bankers to beef up its European commercial banking operations earlier this year. “We continue to think globally,” says Andrew Kresse, head of Corporate Client Banking & Specialized Industries International at JPMorgan. “It’s a luxury and isn’t something that should be taken for granted.”
The New York-based bank is bulking up in places like Frankfurt and Madrid, highlighting the divergence between the US and European banking sectors since the 2008 crisis. American lenders were “ahead in making the bad loans, so to speak, and they’ve been ahead at writing those bad loans off and moving on,” says David Ellison, a portfolio manager at Hennessy Funds, which oversees $4.8 billion in assets.