'You’re seeing big international banks, outside of ourselves and JPMorgan, really taking a pretty substantial step back from the markets, and we hadn’t seen that in the entire history of banking', Cohn, 52, told journalists at Goldman Sachs’s office in Sao Paulo.
Bloomberg reports that Cohn cited plans by UBS and Credit Suisse to cut risk-weighted assets, reduce balance sheets and withdraw from certain markets and regions after suffering losses during the credit crisis. Deutsche Bank plans to reduce balance-sheet leverage as well, and London-based Barclays is facing restrictions from the U.K. government, he said.
'The only capacity we’ve ever seen taken out of banks is banks merging with each other over the last 50 years', Cohn said. 'Now we are actually seeing banks withdraw from investment banking and the capital-markets business'.
While competition from major international institutions is easing, New York-based Goldman Sachs is confronting stronger local banks in regions including Brazil, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong, Cohn said. Goldman Sachs faces the strongest local competitors in Brazil, Cohn said.
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image: © Lisamarie Babik