The news out of the Eurozone crisis has been all about impending doom, but there is a silver lining for U.S. and Canadian banks, which have taken the opportunity to pick up some cheap European assets. The Financial Times reports:
The deleveraging process at eurozone banks is reshaping the US banking landscape. Lawyers, bankers and analysts say that many of the spoils of eurozone turmoil have gone to US banks, their Canadian competitors or specialised private equity groups and hedge funds, with Chinese operators also ramping up US operations.“There’s a lot of activity that’s going on,” said Timothy Sloan, chief financial officer of [Wells Fargo]. “Some institution has got to step up and take on that business. It can’t just be us, so I think it is going to benefit ourselves, the larger regional banks and the Canadian banks.”
The change runs deep. Dutch banking and insurance giant ING was forced to sell its American crown jewels, its highly profitable online banking business, to Capital One, since European Union laws do not allow banks that received state bailouts to own foreign subsidiaries. Other European banks are finding themselves in a similar situation.The more European banks are forced to bring their assets home, the more American banks stand to gain.