The European banking industry needs to consolidate further if it is to avoid becoming 'an inefficient and structurally unprofitable marketplace'.
So says Citigroup CEO Charles Prince. Speaking at the annual Lloyd's of London dinner last week, Prince talked about 'a world where the bloated and the slow would fall to the swift and the lean, where only the most efficiently run banks would survive and grow'.
The Citigroup boss said that European banks are finding it difficult to find merger partners due to government restrictions and cultural differences. But, Prince said, they must eventually come together - or they will die.
Prince said: 'When I began law school, more than 30 years ago, the dean addressed all of the incoming students and said 'look to the person on your left and on your right - not all of you will make it through'. And he was right. To my colleagues in financial services, I say the same thing - look around. Not all of us will survive'. And a Happy Christmas to you, too, Chuck.