Asia's banks grow up

As corporate borrowers turn elsewhere for funds Asia''s banks will have to reinvent themselves says JPMorgan and East & Partners.

Asian banks used to have it easy. When companies needed cash they turned to one of the big local banks and asked for it. The banks obliged and, basically, by doing so funded economic growth - when the economy grew, so did corporate lending.

Today, things are more complicated. Asian economies are growing but most banks are still struggling to shift more business on to their corporate loan books. This is a long-term structural change, say banking analysts, mirroring the evolution that has taken place in developed markets, such as Australia, where banks focus their lending efforts on consumers and mid-size businesses rather than large corporations.

A recent survey of companies'...

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