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Banks are key players in domestic and international businesses: they secure transactions, support the projects and development of their customers and play an essential role in the functioning of capital markets.

They represent a highly diversified sector and range from small local institutions to regional or worldwide groups. The course will focus on international banks.


The course presents the main patterns of the banking industry and its international development in both retail and wholesale activities. Although banks may be considered as providers of highly sophisticated services, driven by financial markets, they mostly deliver day-to-day services, which represent the main component of their presence and core-profits. It is therefore important to understand banking basics to assess the overall development of financial institutions.

However, such developments are not as global as we might expect. Banks are driven by risks and regulations and are often reluctant to expand their coverage to emerging and even developed economies.

The various financial crises, though involve the responsibilities of such actors as the States, have put some pressure on banks. They are often considered as "usual suspects" by governments, customers and public opinions, who tend to be warry and keep banks under strict controls. This leads to ever-increasing regulations and obliges banks to adapt in order to maintain a high level of compliance and trust, not just in terms of regulation but also in terms of governance and best practices.

Globalization has been widely used to describe the international banking business over the last twenty years. The main issue this course will address: Is it still a relevant concept for the coming years?

  • The drivers of international banking.
  • A basic banking business model.
  • Emerging banking: new models, new competitors?
  • Best practices and governance: International wealth management, Shadow banking.
  • The image of banks: Fraud, Criminality, Public Opinion.
  • Banks and international financial stability: regulatory and societal issues.