Foreign competitors are displacing European banks as the lead banking relationships for European corporations, especially with regard to international banking business. In 2003, foreign banks held only 39 per cent of the lead banking relationships with Europe’s largest companies. That number surged to 48 per cent last year, according to a new report from Greenwich Associates. “The importance of foreign banks is increasing in the eyes of European corporate finance and treasury officials who are finding themselves more often in need of expertise in international banking and capabilities in certain sophisticated products,” says Greenwich Associates consultant Berndt Perl. In particular, foreign banks are earning a greater share of banking relationships in acquisition and buy-out finance, tax-based products, structured trade, and pan-European or international cash management. Meanwhile, domestic banks increased their share of relationships in such products as securitized receivables, property finance, and custody services.
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