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FSB's holdings in Hansabank were 98% (Swedbank 2005). In 2007, Hansabank controlled 62% of the entire Baltic (Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia) card market which is located in a small, but quickly developing market which has a high amount of savings and low credit card usage. The 2006-year, as predicted was a particularly good year for Hansabank. They were first among banks in the credit card market in the Baltic and had the largest sector of the deposit market at 32% to back things up (Hansabank/Swedbank 2007 13).
Needless to say, the market research before entering potential markets is critical in predicting how much of a gamble is involved in that market penetration. The market research prior to the entry into the Nordic and Baltic markets was extensive and meticulous and paid off nicely the next year in 2006.
E. Performance During the Recession
Even good companies have their down periods and Barclays Capital is no exception, however, it continued to function without a British government bailout. Barclays Capital saw its full-year profits increase 92% to £11.6bn ($18.2bn) in 2009. This was better than in 2008 when profits were only £1.6bn a figure included hefty write-downs. The company had said that it had loaned about £35bn to businesses and households in 2009 in the U.K. The ability to function without government handouts while other institutions barely stayed afloat was seen as quite an accomplishment (BBC 2010). Certainly, the performance is a tribute to the conservative policies of the investment banking giant.
Their share of the U.S. market increased with the acquisition of the Lehman Brothers investment firm in the wake of its 2008 bankruptcy (Junod 2009). The investment house was acquired for a bargain of 1.75 billion USD and gives the company a strategic part of the U.S. investment capital market. (Teather 2008). In this short-term, this has cost Barclays Capital 33% of its profits (BBC. 2011). However, the investment will likely pay off in the future as the U.S. economy improves further.
Certainly, the these moves that we have seen in this short essay foreshadow the fact that Barclays Capital has big plans ahead, however there are many steps that are still needed along the way. Despite a number of setbacks, Barclays Capital has been able to keep a stable credit quality and has kept its delinquency levels low. What is clear is that Barclay's focus has become more international (especially in the Nordic sector of Europe) for the future of its businesses. The company has earned a well deserved reputation for not assuming that one size fits all. Rather, they will customize a portfolio to a clients special needs. This service commands brand-name loyalty and is a feature that Barclays Capital customers can count on in branches all over the world.
The adherence by the company to its core principles has helped it to weather the recession and return to profitably faster and without a government bailout. These features inspire continued faith in the Barclays Capital brand name that will help it to retain current customers and attract future customers who are attracted to its well researched and conservative investment policies.
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Swedbank. (2005). ForeningsSparbanken over 98 per cent in Hansabank. Available: http://newsroom.swedbank.com/en/Press-releases1/ForeningsSparbanken-over-98-per-cent-in-Hansabank/. Last accessed 14 Dec 2011.
Teather, D. (2008). Barclays Agrees $1.75bn Deal for Core Lehman Brothers business. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/sep/17/barclay.lehmanbrothers1. Last accessed 14 Dec 2011.[continue]
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