Key themes from Q3 2015 earnings calls
Largely constructive first half of the year gives way to negative third quarter
Despite the industry-wide expectation that challenging operating conditions would persist, the third quarter operating environment was exceptionally difficult for banks.
State Street’s CEO noted that “Global equity markets posted their worst quarter since the third quarter of 2011,” and ANZ CEO Mike Smith observed that “Customer activity stopped, which is quite unusual.”
With the escalation of macro challenges, the question becomes: have banks sufficiently transformed themselves to manage through an environment that is unlikely to improve materially in the foreseeable future?
While UBS’ management asserted that is has completed its transformation efforts, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered all unveiled new plans for dramatic strategic repositioning to address whatDeutsche Bank CEO John Cryan described as “historic underperformance” and to fulfil Standard Chartered’s aspiration of “being acceptably and then excitingly profitable.”
Top 10 themes: a quarter-over-quarter comparison
*Note: Please see Appendix for an explanation of the ranking methodology.