A Blueprint for Better Banking
'A Blueprint for Better Banking' takes a fresh look at the financial crisis. It sets out to answer specifically what the mistakes were that banks made and how this could have been avoided. What is unique about this book is a detailed description of a large bank that operates very differently from its peers and that has, as a result, steered clear of the areas that have brought many other banks into trouble. This provides a number of insights into how a more resilient, post-credit crunch banking system should look. The first section begins with an overview of existing explanations of the crisis and why they remain partly unsatisfactory. It then sets out an alternative framework based around seven behavioural patterns of imprudent banking. These 'Seven Deadly Sins' have caused most banking crises, including the current one, and while they come in different shapes and forms they remain essentially the same. This book examines why they remain extremely tempting to bankers, often with the enthusiastic support of their shareholders and no meaningful objection by regulators. The second and main part of the book is a new and extensive description of the management practices at Svenska Handelsbanken, one of the top 25 banks in Europe. It not only survived the Swedish banking crisis in the 1990s without asking for support, but it has also remained stable during the latest crisis. Handelsbanken did not have to raise capital or ask for government support and its shares have been the best performing European bank stock by a wide margin. The bank has traditionally been run by management practices that are diametrically opposed to so-called 'best practice' in the industry. The book investigates how Handelsbanken operates without bonuses and examines their unique organisation, strategy discussion, risk management and capital markets communication. In effect, the book describes how Handelsbanken ensures that it does not fall for any of the Seven Deadly Sins. Niels Kroner has conducted over fifty interviews with Handelsbanken executives and competitors, and also draws on his inside experience of many other institutions to bring out the important differences between the 'Handelsbanken way' and common practices at other banks. The final part summarises what other banks and financial institutions can learn from Handelsbanken and how its model may offer a solution that other potential regulatory changes may not.
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assets avoid balance sheet bank’s bankers Basel Basel II behaviour better bonuses borrowers branch manager casino banking chapter chief executive clients commercial banks companies competition corporate costs credit crunch credit risk crises culture customers decision deposits discuss emerging markets equity European banks explanations financial crisis financial institutions Glass-Steagall Act growth Handelsbanken model imprudent activities imprudent banking incentive instance interest income interest rates internal investment banking investors large banks large losses lending liquidity loan book loan losses market share maturity Minsky mismatches mortgages net interest income Nordea Northern Rock one’s operations organisation overall Pär Boman peers portfolio problem profits prudent banking ratios real estate regional bank regulators regulatory risk appetite risk management risky scenarios sector seven deadly sins share price shareholders similar strategy stress testing structured credit subprime Svenska Handelsbanken Swedbank Sweden Swedish banking crisis Swiss francs targets treasury utility bank wrong