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Rise of the No.2; Did they try harder?

Remember the legendary tag line from Avis - 'We try harder'. This gave words to the might of the No.2.

Is the credit crunch reversing the league tables in global banking? Consider this -

- Till about 2006 JPMC's market cap was 60% of Citi's. It is the other way round today.

- RBS outbid Barclays to acquire ABN Amro late last year. Last week RBS had to seek GBP20bn of capital from government, while Barclays stated it is comfortable raising the required GBP6.5 bn from the market

- In past there have been many comparisons between UBS and CSFB. In this decade, UBS had clearly left CSFB behind as the worlds largest private bank (In 2005, UBS was 3 times the size of CSFB). Yesterday CSFB could raise SFr10bn from private investors, whereas UBS had to seek SFr6bn from the Swiss government.

Is this a trend or a coincidence? Why have the stars of the No.2 banks risen in this crisis? Did they try harder? .... or did the No.1 banks in each of these markets get greedy and make bigger bets!

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Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 20 October, 2008, 06:39Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The Number Ones of past were Number One because they were more aggressive. Their relentless aggressiveness has put them into troubled waters. When number one falls, number two becomes number one without much additional hard work.  But they will really have to try harder to stay there for long…

Aggressiveness is important element for growth. Decisions of number two to invest less in subprime was result of careful though or result of being not aggressive enough?

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