There are, however, clear and fundamental conflicts between these needs, which fight against each other for dominance. In many ways they represent an unwinnable war. And yet banks continue to survive. It is clear that, fundamentally, the business of banking is moving in a new direction and the idea of what constitutes 'normal' performance is changing.
The report provides analysis of 15 of the largest European banks and discusses their priorities, as set out in their annual review, against their financial results and the wider economy. The surveyed banks consistently report four priorities as the cornerstones of their future strategies: core business; cost control; customer-driven business; and return on equity.