Breakingviews

UK upstart banks lack too-big-to-fail airbag

July 6, 2016

Britain's challenger banks have grown thanks to their bigger peers' dire customer service. Most look well capitalised. But a Brexit-induced recession and commercial property downturn may expose shoddy underwriting. Their tiny size means regulators won't mind if they go under.

Regional banks grab hold of repo grenade

November 10, 2015

Wells Fargo, Nordea and Sumitomo Mitsui are bulking up in a form of short-term collateralised lending, as big investment banks pull back. Yet buoyant “repo” financing may carry hidden risks. The market played a central role in the financial crisis - and much of it remains opaque.

China moves in right direction on bank flexibility

By Wei Gu
June 8, 2012

Beijing has given banks a little more freedom on setting interest rates. The surprise change looks tentative, as usual. But allowing the market to play a bigger role in capital allocation will help both savers and companies, at the cost of its overly profitable banks.

China gets growth and a nasty dilemma

By Wei Gu
January 21, 2010

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao once said 2009 would be China’s toughest economic period in fifty years. He wasn’t thinking ahead.