Published: 28 February 2000
Analyst(s): Susan Landry
Management Summary When boiled down, wholesale banking is a simple business that offers three major product lines that enable corporations and organizations to 1) obtain funds, 2) invest funds and 3) conduct commerce. If it is truly this straightforward, why are wholesale banks so large and complex? This Context Overview Report answers the question "what is wholesale banking" through an overview of the business, products, use of technology and the major business drivers and technology trends that are shaping the industry. Whereas retail banking primarily serves consumers and small businesses, wholesale banking is defined to encompass the major business lines, products and services sold to corporations, institutions and organizations of all sizes. This report primarily explores wholesale banking from a U.S. perspective, but there are few if any banks that do not offer some international services through wholesale banking. The impact of globalization on wholesale banking and its use of technology are reviewed. The complexity of this business, driven by rapid expansion and convergence, is evident through an exploration of the breadth of products that are offered. Although commercial loans had, for many years, been the primary method for corporations and organizations to obtain funds, the breadth of options and capabilities today is enormous. Banks can no longer rely solely on income from interest earned on loans, but are promoting a diverse range of products to balance the revenue mix and assure continued growth through economic cycles. Expansion and diversification are driving dramatic change into the strategic, organizational and cultural fabric of wholesale banking. This report explores such changes, reviews how banks are responding and provides insights into successful strategies for the future. Wholesale banking is an information-intensive business that has relied heavily on technology for decades. The legacy of these decades of investment is both a...
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