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Banks focus on Asia and Africa for growth opportunities


Banks around the globe are now focused on Asia as the world’s number one region for growth according to the annual Barclays Corporate Global Banking Survey.

In a survey of 200 bank executives* at a series of events in Dubai, Singapore, London and Frankfurt that concluded in Toronto this week, the research also revealed banks across the globe see Africa following close behind Asia in providing significant growth opportunities. Conversely banks see very limited potential for growth in Europe and North America.

However, the US dollar is still predicted to be the world’s reserve currency in 10 years time by the majority (61 per cent) of bank executives, although a substantial 21 per cent now predict the Renminbi will become the global reserve currency within a decade.

Matt Tuck, Global Head of Financial Institutions, Barclays, said the survey demonstrated just how focused on Asia the global banking industry had now become, with Asia also predicted by the industry to be the dominant centre for global trade flows over the next 12 months.

Tuck said, “There is huge work being done by global banking groups to capitalise on the unrelenting economic growth in Asia. While this trend has been evident for more than a decade, it appears to be accelerating in the financial world as growth amongst developed nations remains sluggish. The move by the financial services sector to generate greater penetration across Africa is also gathering pace.”

The survey also revealed a positive trend for those seeking more competition in the banking industry, as the vast majority (89 per cent) of bank executives globally predict the banking market will become more competitive over the next two years, including 40 per cent that believe the industry will be ‘much more competitive’ over this period.

Matt Tuck concludes; “Europe is an incredibly important market for the banking industry, but there is a move towards spreading risk by diversifying geographies and also banking income streams. Banking is certainly in growth mode, but is becoming increasingly mobile and selective in where it targets this growth”

Notes to Editors:

*The survey does not reflect the views of Barclays Plc, rather this is the view of 200 respondents from major banking groups from North America, the UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

About Barclays Corporate

With a clear focus on quality relationships, Barclays Corporate provides integrated banking solutions to businesses with an annual turnover of more than £5 million in the UK and large local companies, financial institutions and multinationals in non-UK markets. We facilitate the success and growth of our clients by providing lending, risk management, cash and liquidity management, trade finance and asset and sales financing. Additionally, our clients benefit from the breadth of the Barclays Group, through access to the investment banking services of Barclays Capital including debt and equity capital markets, the private wealth management expertise of Barclays Wealth, and the card and payment services of Barclaycard. Barclays Corporate employs over 10,000 people globally. For more information please visit

About Barclays

Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 145,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website


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