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FT Guide to Banking by Glen Arnold

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16

European banking

As a result of globalisation modernisation and cross border flows, banking in Europe tends to follow similar methods. The majority of large banks are the product of centuries of mergers and are universal international banks. However, smaller banks still play a crucial role in the economy of their region.

Banking in Europe has a rich and varied history beginning in the north of Italy where merchants with grain from the fertile lands of Lombardy traded very profitably with countries in the East. Loans and credit were given to traders in return for interest payments on the capital supplied. Certain families became exceptionally wealthy and extended their influence abroad, providing finance to many rulers and governments ...

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