European Business Schools Librarian's Group

Les Cahiers de Recherche,
HEC Paris

No 674: Strategies of European Banks in Emerging Markets: a Comparative Approach


Abstract: The aim of this research is to identify and explain the main strategies conducted by the major European banks in emerging markets. What are the similarities and the differences between European banks concerning, first, their entry onto developing markets and, second, the level of integration of the local units in the global organization of these banks? This survey examines in particular three essential aspects of establishing operating units in emerging markets: corporate strategies regarding entry onto new markets (long-term objectives, geographical presence, modes of entry), the organizational process (degree of integration of new units, reporting) and human resources policy (recruitment, training and development of corporate culture in the local entities). This research encompasses a review of the literature on bank internationalization and strategies in emerging countries and an empirical survey, completed through interviews with three major European banks: ABN Amro (The Netherlands), Barclays (United Kingdom), Société Générale (France). The findings are that bank strategies in the emerging countries greatly vary according to the basic international strategy of the firm. Two patterns have been identified: (1) retaining a foreign status by focusing on the high end value of the market, (2) striving to obtain domestic status by entering retail or consumer banking.

Keywords: strategy; emerging countries; bank; modes of entry; international

JEL-codes: F33; F34; G21; N25; O16

44 pages, May 2, 1999

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