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Citi keeps top position in global transaction banking in H1'17


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Citi keeps top position in global transaction banking in H1'17

Citigroup Inc. remained the global leader in transaction banking over the first half of 2017, according to a league table of the world's largest transaction banks in the period, released by research firm Coalition on Oct. 5.

The U.S. group continued to perform well in trade finance, which has been a weak spot for many lenders since last year due to a slowdown in commodity trading.

The world's top 10 players in transaction banking, which comprises trade finance and cash management services, are Citigroup, HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., BNP Paribas SA, Deutsche Bank AG, Standard Chartered Plc, Wells Fargo & Co., Société Générale SA and Barclays Plc, according to Coalition's table. The ranking takes into account all bank revenues made from institutional and corporate clients with annual turnover of more than $1.5 billion.

Citigroup was ahead of the pack in trade finance revenues, maintaining its leadership position from 2016. The group recently announced plans to boost its trade finance and cash management revenues among others by providing services to companies participating in China's Belt and Road Initiative, Reuters reported Sept. 22. The initiative, launched in 2013, is aimed at improving China's global trading relationships primarily with partners across Asia, Africa and Europe.

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HSBC tied with JPMorgan for second place in overall transaction banking revenues for the first half of the year.

Bank of America remained one of the two lenders with the strongest improvement in year-over-year transaction banking revenues at constant exchange rates, alongside JPMorgan. With steady growth in payments, increasing clearing volumes and higher interest rates, the Americas provided the best revenue opportunities for the 10 banks in the Coalition sample in the first half of 2017. The lenders' combined transaction banking revenues in the period grew 8% year over year to $6 billion, according to Coalition's transaction banking index published Sept. 19.

Overall transaction banking revenues in the EMEA region saw a decline over the first six months of 2017 mainly due to low interest rates and the generally weak macroeconomic environment. The 10 banks in the Coalition sample recorded a 2% year-over-year decline to $4.3 billion in their EMEA-based operations.

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