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Study and Overview of Multinational Banking


Banks have always been a topic of great discussion as well as great importance. The Banks have been an integral part of the whole economy of the country and hence add greater value to its existence. However, the past suggests that the banks have broken their domestic shackles and entered different markets in foreign countries. Global banking has then emerged as one the most important and biggest industry in the world. This was primarily because of the assessments made by bank management on the growth and profits associated with globalization. In the current scenario, almost every bank internationalizes its operation sooner or later and hence makes it even more important to understand the associated concepts in globalization policy. The research is to propose a well scrutinized description of its determinants and risks associated with it. A further emphasis is given in regards to the risks of multinational banking as the past decades have experienced a lot of banking crises which many regard as an adverse effect created by diversification of banks. Studies in the past have more been on the FDI made by Multinational corporations in trade industry however less has been written about FDI in banking industry even though they have been neck and neck with the other industries in terms of globalization with banks such as HSBC, ICICI, JP Morgan, Citibank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays heading the way.

The massive banking industry makes it very difficult to conduct a complete study of all its aspects and hence the key aspects of its globalization have been considered and researched.

The involvement of the author in a research related to the study of multinational banking is caused because of the following reasons:

Firstly, banking industry has been a key sector in the economy of any country and the success of a country has at times also depended on the functioning of its banks.

Secondly, the author has immense interest in the banking field and has always been fascinated by the activities and operations of banks across the globe.

Lastly, the personal interests of the author in the globalization field as how and when have firms entered foreign markets. Hence, the investigation of cross country banking industry has made the study very appealing

The primary objective of this study is to investigate and highlight the determinants for the growth of multinational banks and to develop an integrated approach to explain the phenomenon of multi nationalization of the banking industry. Also, to intricate the risk associated with multi nationalizing of banking operations. The primary consideration underlying the study is the fact that most of the research and resulting hypothesis are confined to manufacturing and extractive industries. Indeed, lack of empirical studies on multinational banking was also highlighted by Aliber (1984) in the only survey of the literature on this subject.

The following are the specific questions that have been dealt and explained in the research study:

  • What are the key determinants behind a bank opting for globalization of its activities? Why do some banks and not others adopt this policy?
  • Why is foreign rather than domestic operation advantageous in serving foreign markets?
  • What are the risks associated with globalizing of banking activities?
  • What are the key considerations in terms of which host country to invest and globalize activities in?

The research strategy, design and methodology provide the reader with an in depth view into the framework of the research process undertaken for this study. A separate section has been created called Research Methodology which analyses all the various techniques used in the research such as a research design, difference between the various types of research and the ethod adopted. Also, it highlights the sample used for conducting the primary research and also the research method adopted to collect the primary data. The primary data to brief it up has been collected through a qualitative in depth interview covering a sample of five management level interviewees from banks of UK as well .

This chapter starts of with the significance of the commencement of the study highlighting the key reasons behind the selection of the topic and includes a background to the study as well as the personal interests of the researcher which further motivated the specific research. Also, the chapter lays down the aims and objectives of the research with a brief introduction to all chapters included in the study.

This chapter has been further divided into two chapters. Chapter 2A stresses on the multinational banking industry as a whole and lays down the definitions and the key characteristics of international banking. Also, it highlights the various entry method options available to a bank in entering specific foreign markets. Chapter 2B then emphasizes on the growth of this industry and reasons behind its outburst. Determinants and risks associated with global banking are discussed in the next section. The chapter ends with a schematic conceptual model developed by the researcher to diagrammatically explain the multinational banking phenomenon.

This chapter has been prepared to give insight to the way the whole research has been conducted. The chapter starts of with a strategy of adopting the form of research design and then follows a pattern of discussing, differentiating and selecting among the various options available in conducting the research such as qualitative or quantitative, primary or secondary, questionnaire or interview. The chapter then lays down the difficulties faced by the researcher in his research.

Before this chapter, the research has been primarily been related to collecting secondary data from literature resources and primary data from the sample selected for the survey. However, this chapter deals with the analysis and interpretations of the collected data. Hence, the chapter becomes even more important for the correct interpretation of all the data collected. This chapter has been divided into several sections putting light into all aspects discussed in the research method. Also, this chapter explains the information collected from the survey which is then compared and contradicted with the literature. This chapter then explains the conceptual model shown in the literature review chapter.

The chapter summarizes the whole research process by laying down the key findings. It further highlights the answers suggested in the study for the aims and objectives laid in the introduction. The chapter further suggests how this study could be used in the banking field and how this research could be enhanced by the future researchers. To conclude the researcher expresses few recommendations to the management in the way the globalization of banking is conducted in the modern era.

The key contents of the study have been laid down in this chapter to give an idea of what the study has been conducted for. The aims and objectives of the research have been briefly explained. Also, the research has been more of a personal interest as the study topic has been captivating for the researcher. The second chapter now focuses on the literature in the field of global banking highlighting the key findings and views made by the early researchers.


Introduction to Multinational Banking

This chapter explores critically the literature that has surrounded multinational banking for the past few decades. The literature has been divided into 2 parts. The first part (A) explores the multinational industry as a whole with a detailed explanation of its key characteristics and the modes of entry a bank can apply for it globalization. Whereas, part (B) highlights the background and the growth of multinational banking as a major industry in the world business followed by a scrutiny of its key determinations and risks.

Concept of Multinational Banking

This chapter emphasizes on the concept Multinational Banking and the various aspects related with it. The chapter is divided into four sections to make it simple and clear. The chapter begins with the basic meaning and definition of a multinational bank and the types of multinational banks. The second Section then highlights the key characteristics of MNB. The modes of entries for a MNB are then discussed illustrating the various ways in which a bank can internationalize. The chapter finishes with the concluding comments in fifth section.

Definition of a Multinational Bank (MNB)

‘Multinational banking involves the ownership of banking facilities in one country by the citizens of another’ [Baker and Bradford (1974), Baum (1974), Lees (1974 and 1976) and Robinson (1972)]. The definition of a MNB is subject to an array of interpretations and is also used interchangeably with terms such as International Bank or Transnational Bank. Broadly, a multinational bank can be classified as an institution through correspondent relationship, foreign direct investment or direct lending to customers from home offices that engages into cross country banking. In many instances, however, multinational bank is used to refer to a bank with physical presence outside its home country through a branch, an agency, a wholly or a majority owned subsidiary, or a bank formed by merger of two or more banks based in different countries and not the ones with a correspondent relationship or a representative office. Robinson (1972) defined Multinational banking as ‘operating a bank in, and conducting banking operations that derive from, many different countries and national systems’. A multinational bank can be compared to a multinational company and can be classified as a financial multinational corporation as they enjoy similar advantages and disadvantages in host country. However, this theory can only be applied to commercial bank that engages in local banking activities in the host country and hence competes with the native banks. Whereas, a Multinational corporation can little be compared with the bank that operates in the super national markets such as Euromarkets as they do not compete with the local indigenous banks. (M.K Levis 1987).

H. G Grubel (1977) was one of the first authors who offered a general theory to explain the existence of multinational banking. He argued that MNB had three different types, which needed different explanations. The first was the multinational retail banking, which entered foreign markets to serve local customers through the same local deposits and loans facilities as domestic banks in the host countries. The second category was the multinational service banking, which consisted of banks servicing the requirements of corporate clients and expatriates from its home economy in foreign markets. Lastly, the multinational wholesale banking, it involves taking large deposits, and the making of large loans and investment. It is worth mentioning that Hoschka’s (1993) similar definition of a multinational financial services corporation (MFSC) is confined to firms that provide banking services. In his view ‘the fact of possession of a representative office in a given country does not imply that the owner of this office may be called an MFSC, as it merely serve a liaison function for a parent firm but cannot actively operate in the host market’. However, the definition the researcher has used for the multinational bank is of any bank which internationalizes it operation. (Jones. G)

After we have discussed the related literature on multinational banking in the chapter two, this chapter discusses in depth the research strategy, design process and the methodology used for investigation. It provides the reader with an insight into the various methods and techniques used for this study. The main discussed issues are based on the proposed stages of the research process by Antonio as shown in the table below:

  1. Problem Discovery and Definition
  2. Research design
  3. Sampling
  4. Data collection
  5. Data processing and analysis
  6. Conclusion

The stages of the research process

Antonio ‘Exploring Marketing Research’, USA: The Dryden Press

Problem discovery and definition

‘The formulation of the problem is often more essential than the solution’. Albert Einstein. According to Malhotra and Birks (2003), problem definition can be defined as the ‘the general problem and the identification of the specific components of the marketing research problem’. Problem discovery and definition is regarded as the primary method in any research and also one of the most important. Therefore, it is very important to understand the nature, scope and limitations of the problem in order to avoid any misinterpretation and to make it understandable to marketing decision makers and marketing researchers.

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