Global banking chiefs warn market vulnerable to 'geopolitical escalation' | Inquirer Business

Global banking chiefs warn market vulnerable to ‘geopolitical escalation’

/ 02:08 PM November 07, 2023

UBS chairman Colm Kelleher looks on during the Global Financial Leaders' investment summit in Hong Kong

UBS Chairman Colm Kelleher looks on during the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit, in Hong Kong, China November 7, 2023. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

HONG KONG  -Top global banking chiefs on Tuesday said they are concerned the financial sector’s next crisis may come from rising geopolitical uncertainty, as extreme events could test market resiliency.

The trigger for the next global financial crisis is likely to come from the geopolitical or political space, said Morgan Stanley Chairman and CEO James Gorman.


Gorman was among more than a dozen top executives of international firms speaking at the Global Financial Leaders Investment Summit hosted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.


“The challenges to democracy in some countries around the world are pretty evident,” Gorman said without elaborating.

Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing said markets have largely been resilient in the face of global events but any calm was vulnerable to the risk of new events.

“My biggest fear is that one more geopolitical escalation – and that can happen pretty quickly – and the markets at some point in time actually give up the calmness and then you have a market event,” Sewing said.

The comments come as an unfolding Israel-Gaza conflict adds uncertainty to the global economic outlook, while the Russia-Ukraine war drags on and Sino-U.S. tension continues to rise despite efforts to bring leaders of the two super powers closer.

The banking bosses also expressed concern about intensifying regulation in some jurisdictions that was hampering global economic growth and adding pressure to smaller banks.

“Certainly I think movements from certain regulators at the moment to try and talk about capital are misguided. They should be focusing on other issues,” said UBS Group Chairman Colm Kelleher, without specifying regulators.


In the U.S., the banking regulator has proposed stricter capital rules for big lenders following runs on smaller banks earlier this year, whereas the industry has argued there is no justification for significant capital increases.

Kelleher also commented on his bank’s merger with embattled rival Credit Suisse earlier this year, saying UBS did not want the merger and that major investors pushed back on the deal.

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In June, UBS completed its emergency takeover of Credit Suisse, forging a Swiss banking and wealth management giant with a $1.6 trillion balance sheet.

TAGS: Financial crisis, geopolitics, Market, vulnerability

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