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Universal BankingInternational Comparisons and Theoretical Perspectives$
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Jordi Canals

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198775065

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198775065.001.0001

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The Transformation of the Banking Industry and the Theory of Financial Intermediation

The Transformation of the Banking Industry and the Theory of Financial Intermediation

(p.1) 1 The Transformation of the Banking Industry and the Theory of Financial Intermediation
Universal Banking

Jordi Canals

Oxford University Press

This chapter briefly discusses the profound transformations that have taken place in the international financial system in the last twenty years and the innovations that have had most significance for the banking business, and their impact on the banks' performance. In particular, it asks whether these changes are transforming the nature of banking activities, and, if so, how banks should adapt to the new circumstances. The chapter's conceptual approach will be functional: it seeks to analyze the tasks and functions that a bank should be carrying out and its real possibility of achieving success in an environment of stiffening competition. It also introduces the notion of financial model. Financial model refers to the unique configuration adopted by the financial system in a particular country, paying particular attention to the roles and relative weight of the banks and capital markets. At one extreme, there are countries where bank financing predominates. At the other extreme, there are a few countries where financial markets play a greater role in financial activity.

Keywords:   international financial system, financial model, competition, banking business

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