The finance industry is losing many of its major names as the crisis begins to bite. Some of the names may stay but they are now owned by behemoth banks who just get bigger and bigger. We are going to move into the future with a market that has less independent
banks but a few massive global financial conglomerates. This narrowing of the field is a cause for concern as the concentration of assets under control brings a near monopoly flavour to choose by the investor.
It's not possible to be all things to all men and big often stifles innovation as the; layers of management slow down progress. In short great big dinosaurs could be being built without the necessary agility to innovate and move quickly to take advantage
of new trends. This will probably mean an increase of takeover by the bigger banks of smaller more aggressive and imaginative financial services firms.
However there is also a strong possibility that large industrial companies could enter financial services. We have already seen that Tesco is increasing its presence and other Supermarkets could follow suit utilising their high street brand and retail outlets
to encourage people to use their financial services. It will be a small step for Tesco to build a direct connection to the electronic market place offering executions to their orders captured at the till.
Google could easily become a financial services player and for that matter Microsoft and eBay. What these names all have in common is the brand awareness of the investor but also brand comfort. As respected names in the market lose their reputation because
the crisis and the rather unflattering image of hugely wealthy traders trampling over the man in the street to ensure a bigger bonus, the chance of replacing them with a brand built on trust and certainty of delivery has its attractions.
Further down the industrial route is the very large corporate for example BP, Shell and Unlilever who could transform their treasury departments into trading rooms gaining direct market access and disintermediating brokers who have been the guys taking
much of the blame for bad investment decisions.
September 2008 may go down in history as the month the old market died but excitingly when a new market was born.