handelsblatt conference 'Nothing Has Been Normal Since Lehman'

Handelsblatt publisher and CEO Gabor Steingart assesses the state of world finance eight years after the global banking crisis at Handelsblatt's Banking Summit in Frankfurt.
Gabor Steingart welcomes executives from across the financial sector to Handelsblatt's banking conference.


Today’s summit, “Banks in Transition,” is the best-attended Handelsblatt conference in more than a decade. This is because we have many things to talk about. Normality never really returned to the world of finance after Lehman. We are confronted by regulation that is to some extent strangulation.

We are faced with policies from the European Central Bank that are creating problems for banks and the financial community, but also for our readers and savers in Germany. We have to deal with Europe and the breakdown of what was the established system up to now, especially since the vote by Britons to leave the European Union.

Here in Germany as well, a new era has begun.

Here in Germany as well, a new era has begun. We should speak about this. Because London is still the financial capital, not Brussels and up to now, not Frankfurt.

I am pleased that an entire school class is in attendance – if I may speak of the financial community as a school class. The bad boys are sitting way at the back -- namely my colleagues from the media. A hearty welcome to you! Television broadcasters both from home and abroad are interested in us. Of course the model pupils are sitting in the first row.

I greet today John Cryan, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank, and Martin Zielke, the new CEO of Commerzbank. Georg Fahrenschon, president of the German Savings Banks Association, actually doesn't belong in the second row. Without our savings banks, this country would be worse off.

In his new function as chairman of Blackrock Germany, Friedrich Merz, the former head of the conservative party caucus in the Bundestag, is here. He will perhaps address a few issues that stir up feelings in Berlin, Frankfurt and Brussels. Today at our event that may be said which must be said.

The new president of the French Central Bank, François Villeroy de Galhau, is in attendance. We have colleagues from JP Morgan and many other international banks here. So I'm sure we will have a vigorous exchange of ideas.

We call this “live journalism.” There are three categories of journalism: print, digital and live. Because we believe that only friction generates energy. We believe that conferences are only really good when everyone is together and those things are said which are actually on people's minds.

So no beating around the bush, but a direct addressing of problems and shortcomings is coming your way, a sort of parliament on financial policy. Welcome to our banking conference!


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