The Future of Banking-Financial Conglomerate




Does the future of banking belong to the financial conglomerate?

(1) Barclays, Britain's second-biggest bank, has recently announced plans to return more capital to its shareholders, who are delighted by the news. Barclays owns a sprawling collection of businesses. In Britain, the bank sells mortgages and personal loans. To Americans, the firm is better known as a fund manager. To the world's biggest companies, Barclays is an investment bank, helping to underwrite their shares and bonds.

(2) Barclays is a fine company. Almost weekly, exotic new combinations of banks, fund managers and insurance companies are cooked up and served to the world's investors. In America, Wall Street's well-hailed investment banks are merging with mass-market retail brokers. In Europe, commercial banks have bought securities firms and insurance companies.

(3) Financial mergers are hardly novel. Since 1987 nearly $1.4 trillion-worth of mergers have swept through the industry. The logic of combining different sorts of financial firm, however, has little to do with cost-cutting. Some companies claim that together their businesses can churn out more profits than they do apart. Others say they have no choice.

(4) The most widely cited for this is the changing behaviour of customers. Savers are deserting banks for the rewarding places to park their money, such as in mutual funds (unit trusts, in Britain) and insurance policies. Borrowers are also shunning banks, turning instead to the capital markets to raise cash more cheaply. If they want to hold on to this business, bankers argue, they must follow their customers.

(5) As is known, for some bankers, diversification has become an end as much as a means. The supposed advantage of a financial conglomerate is the ability to meet all of its customers' needs, from personal loans to put options, in one financial supermarket.

 

1. Group the words according to their part-of-speech characteristics:

mortgage, investment, bonds, insurance, retail, hardly, through, with, nearly, choice, than, no, behavior, mutual, more, cheaply, raise, follow, all, advantage.

Noun Adjective Verb Adverb Preposition Conjunction Pronoun
             
             
             
             
             
             
             

 

2. Cross out the words that do not refer to the group:

mortgage, fund manager, bonds and shares, insurance companies, profit, to park one’s money, arts, needs, financial conglomerate.

 

 

3. Match the English and Russian equivalents:


1) to merge

2) bonds

3) broker

4) insurance

5) cost-cutting

6) mortgage

7) customer

8) retail

9) to claim

10) commercial

11) wholesale

12) to desert

 

 

a) коммерческий

b) розница

c) облигации

d) посетитель

e) усложнять

f) заявлять

g) маклер

h) опт

i) залог

j) привычка

k) сливаться

l) уменьшение расходов

m) покидать

n) страхование


 

 

4. Cross out the wrong variant:

a) Almost regularly, new bank combinations and insurance companies (cooking up/are cooked up).

b) In Europe, commercial banks tend to buy (secure/securities) firms and insurance companies.

c) Oftener and oftener, savers park their money in (rewarding/reward) places.

d) Nowadays one can (rise/raise) cash in capital markets more cheaply than in banks.

e) To meet their customers’ needs, banks often choose (merger/to merge).

f) In Britain, banks usually (sells/sell) mortgages and personal loans.

 

5. Choose the right variant:

1) A bank can function as a ____ manager.

a. find b. fund c. finding d. found

2) ____ banks often merge with mass-market retail brokers.

a. to invest b. investments c. invested d. investment

3) Financial ___ are not new.

a. merge b. merger c. merging d. mergers

4) Almost ___ new banks and companies spring up.

a. week b. weekly c. weeks d. week-end

5) What ___ the advantage of a financial conglomerate?

a. are b. be c. is d. being

6) For the last two decades more than $1.5 trillion-worth of mergers ___ through banking.

a. having swept b. have swept c. to have swept d. had swept

7) Why ___ savers ___ banks today?

a. desert… - b. does…desert c. are… deserted d. are…deserting

8) If banks want to hold on to their business, they ___ meet their customers’ needs.

a. can b. can’t c. must d. needn’t

9) For some bankers, diversification has become an end, ___ it?

a. has b. hasn’t c. have d. haven’t

10) Financial mergers are running the risk, ___they?

a. aren’t b. are c. do d. don’t

11) Why ___ the customers’ behaviour change as new financial conglomerates appear?

a. do b. doing c. does d. is

12) Where is it ___ to park money?

a. save b. safe c. saving d. savings

13) ___ markets give customers an opportunity to raise money more cheaply.

a. target b. individual c. retail d. capital

14) Today investment banking ___ promising.

a. to look b. looked c. looks d. look

15) He made a ___ of 10 roubles on every bag sold.

a. gift b. profit c. capital d. per cent

16) Do you believe that a financial conglomerate can ___ all of its customers’ needs?

a. met b. meetings c. meet d. meets

17) In the USA commercial bankers still face some restrictions when selling ___.

a. goods b. money c. shares and insurance d. return

18) What ___ an insurance policy be?

a. have b. has c. must d. had

19) Competition among investment banks ___ severe.

a. be b. to be c. are d. is

20) This investment ___ a good interest last year.

a. return b. returned c. has returned d. had returned

 

 

6. Tick off the true statements:

a) Barclays, being a fund manager, also sells mortgages and personal loans.

b) Barclays is involved in international business.

c) Financial mergers appeared only in the first decade of the 21st century.

d) Forming financial supermarkets is deeply motivated.

e) The customers’ changing behaviour also makes banks merge in order to survive.

f) In Britain unit trusts are more popular with customers than banks.

g) Savers traditionally trust banks as the most reliable place to park money.


7. Arrange the statements in the order in which the corresponding ideas are expressed in the text:

a) A financial supermarket is expected to meet all of its customers’ needs.

b) Barclays, one of Britain’s biggest banks, is doing a lot of business.

c) Financial mergers are not a new phenomenon.

d) Barclays is involved in different sorts of business.

e) Savers are deserting banks looking for other places to park their money.

 

 

8. Match the parts of the sentences:


1) Not all banks have…

2) Commercial banks…

3) A financial conglomerate seems an advantageous business…

4) Banks often own…

5) Today capital markets look attractive…

6) Financial conglomerates…

7) To Americans Barclays…

8) The logic of combining financial firms…

9) As an investment bank, Barclays…

10) Not many savers find…

 

 

a) …numerous businesses.

b) …is known as a fund manager.

c) …are hardly novel.

d) …helps the world’s biggest companies to underwrite their shares and bonds.

e) …mutual funds rewarding places to park their money.

f) …a talent for charming the stock market.

g) … is not only cost-cutting.

h) …often buy insurance companies.

i) …as it is supposed to meet all of its customers’ needs.

j) …as they enable customers to raise money rather cheaply.


 

9. Tick off the right answer to the questions:

1) What is Barclays?

a) It is a fund manager bank.

b) It is a financial merger.

c) It is an investment bank.

 

2) When did financial mergers appear?

a) In the 19th century.

b) Five years ago.

c) In the 80s of the 20th century.

 

3) Why do financial institutions merge?

a) To meet all of their customers’ needs.

b) In order to specialize in some financial activity.

c) To look more exotic.

 

4) What financial institutions are popular with customers today?

a) Investment banks are.

b) Agricultural banks are.

c) Mutual funds are.

 

 


Вариант 4

Banking and Finance

(1) Banking and financial market operations in Britain involve a number of special institutions and financial markets which, as a result of deregulation and new legislative frameworks, are increasingly integrating. Many banking and financial institutions are unique to Britain and offer highly specialized services to individuals, companies and sovereign bodies all over the world.

(2) The Bank of England in the heart of the City of London is Britain's central bank. It is banker to the commercial banks and to the Government; manager of the National Debt; «lender of last resort»; regulator of monetary and credit conditions; and, not least, supervisor of the banking system.

(3) Retail banks primarily serve individuals and small to medium-sized businesses. The major retail banks operate through more than 12,148 branches offering cash deposit and withdrawal facilities and systems for transferring funds. They provide current account facilities, including interest-bearing accounts, deposit accounts, various types of loan arrangement, and offer an extending range of financial services.

(4) Building societies started in the late 18th century to pool money to build houses and to buy land. They currently compete with the retail banks to attract savings from and provide mortgage finance for the personal sector. Today, they hold more savings than the other deposit-taking institutions. Building societies are «mutual» institutions, owned by their savers and borrowers. Since the Building Societies Act 1986 the societies have been able to provide a wider range of services.

(5) The discount houses are unique to Britain and occupy a central position in the British monetary system. They act as intermediaries between the Bank of England and the rest of the banking sector promoting an orderly flow of funds between the authorities and the banks.

1. Group the words according to their part-of-speech characteristics:

involve, financial, increasingly, unique, sovereign, over, central, debt, monetary, least, first, primarily, serve, through, withdrawal, eighteenth, currently, from, mutual, intermediaries, borrowers.

Noun Verb Adjective Adverb Numeral Preposition
           
           
           
           
           
           

 

2. Cross out the lexical units that do not belong to the groups:

a) deposit-taking institutions, commercial banks, to lend money, retail market, wholesale market, merchant banks, discount houses, to invest, to rent, banking services, to tail deposits;

b) to pool money, savings, mortgage, finance, personal sector, building societies, to buy land, intermediaries, to prosecute, deposit-taking institutions, to provide a range of services.

 

 

3. Match the English and Russian equivalents:


1) to pool money

2) primarily

3) building societies

4) to provide mortgage finance

5) national debt

6) medium-sized

7) Discount House

8) to transfer funds

9) withdrawal facilities

10) to hold savings


a)среднего размера

b) собирать деньги

c) учетный банк

d) переводить фонды

e) главным образом

f) держать сбережения

g) коммерческий банк

h) строительный кооператив

i) обеспечивать финансирование закладных

j) устройства для снятия денег

k) услуга

l) национальный долг

m) общество

n) торговый банк


4. Cross out the wrong variant:

a)Britain’s central bank is banker to (the government and commercial banks/building societies and the government).

b) Banking in Great Britain (involve/involves) a number of special institutions.

c)Commercial banks are institutions (author/authorized) under the Banking Act 1987 as deposit-taking institutions.

d) The major retail banks (operating/operate) through thousands of branches.

e)What institutions (hold/holding) more savings?

f) Building societies started in (a/the) late 18th century.

g)Both savers and borrowers own building societies, (aren’t/don’t) they?

h) Discount Houses act as (governors/intermediaries) between the Bank of England and the rest of the banking sector.

 

5. Choose the right variant:

1) Britain ____ known for its unique financial institutions.

a. are b. is c. to be d. been

2) British financial institutions ___ services to sovereign bodies all over the world.

a. suggest b. suggests c. offer d. offers

3) The Bank of England is situated in ___ City of London.

a. - b. the c. a d. this

4) The Bank of England is ___ of monetary conditions in the country.

a. regulate b. regulators c. regulates d. regulator

5) What bank finances commercial banks in Great Britain? - _____.

a. The Bank of England is. b. Banks of England.

c. The Bank of England does. d. Any bank.

6) What powers do Commercial Banks have? - ______.

a. To serve only retail clients.

b. To work only in the wholesale market.

c. To do classic banking business.

d. To finance the government.

7) What Act authorizes banks to do business? - ___.

a. The Banking Act of 1987. b. The Banking Act of 1987 did.

c. The Banking Act 1987 does. d. Banking Act of 1987.

8) ___ merchant banks ___ to commercial banks?

a. does…refer b. do…refer c. does…referred d. do…referring

9) ____ retail banks widely spread in Great Britain?

a. is b. are c. do d. does

10) The major retail banks operate through numerous branches, ___?

a. aren’t they b. are they c. do they d. don’t they

11) Banks provide current ____ facilities both to individuals and businesses.

a. accountant b. account c. accounted d. accounts

12) ___ the classic banking business ___ tailing deposits and lending money?

a. do…involve b. does…involve

c. do…to involve d. does…involved

13) Retail banks offer ___ extending range of financial services.

a. - b. a c. an d. these

14) When ___ building societies ___ in Great Britain?

a. do…start b. did…start c. did…started d. does…start

15) One of the functions of Building Societies is ___ mortgage finance for people.

a. provided b. provide c. to provide d. provides

16) Do Building Societies hold ___ savings than any other deposit-taking institutions?

a. much b. many c. a lot d. more

17) In Great Britain an orderly flow of funds between the authorities and the banks ___ by Discount Houses.

a. promote b. is promoted c. promotes d. are promoted

18) What institutions do building societies compete ___?

a. at b. through c. with d. from

19) What institutions occupy a central place in the British monetary system? - ____.

a. Public Houses do. b. Discount Houses are.

c. The Prime Minister’s office does. d. Discount Houses do.

20) ___ there any intermediaries between the Bank of England and the rest of the banking sector?

a. is b. be c. been d. are

 

 

6. Tick off the true statements:

a) Building societies in Great Britain don’t have the right to provide mortgage finance for the personal sector.

b) Retail banks serve individuals offering them systems for transferring funds.

c) Commercial banks do traditional banking business tailing deposits and lending money in the retail as well as wholesale markets.

d) The Banks of England is often referred to as “lender of last resort”.

e) In Great Britain financial institutions are involved in the process of integration.

f) Monetary conditions in the UK are regulated by the Queen.

g) Retail banks are not widely spread in the UK.

h) The function of Discount Houses is to provide small and medium-sized businesses with withdrawal facilities.

7. Arrange the statements in the order in which the corresponding ideas are expressed in the text:

a) Being involved in the classic banking business, Commercial Banks offer a number of various lending services. § _____

b) One of the tasks of Building Societies is to provide mortgage finance for the personal sector. § _____

c) Many of financial institutions in Great Britain are uniquely “British”. § _____

d) Discount Houses function as intermediaries between the Bank of England and all the rest banks. § _____

e) In Great Britain different kinds of financial institutions operating both in the wholesale and retail markets and authorized under the Banking Act 1987 are known as Commercial Banks. § _____

8. Match the parts of the sentences:


1) Current account facilities…

2) Commercial Banks are involved…

3) Discount Houses…

4) To attract savings, Building Societies…

5) Retail Banks…

6) For building houses and buying land…

7) Quite a number of British financial institutions…

8) The Bank of England…


a) primarily serve individuals and small firms.

b) to offer loan arrangement.

c) building societies were set up.

d) is banker to the British government.

e) regulate the monetary system.

f) in the classic banking business of tailing deposits and lending money to retail and wholesale markets.

g) compete with retail banks.

h) promote an orderly flow of funds between the authorities and the banks.

i) are provided by retail banks.

j) are unique to Britain.


 

 

9. Tick off the right answer to the questions:

1) Why are British financial institutions increasingly integrating?

a) As a result of severe competition.

b) As a result of new legislative frameworks and deregulation.

c) As a result of increasing inflation.

2) What institutions are authorized under the Banking Act 1987 to take deposits?

a) Discount Houses are.

b) Building Societies are.

c) Commercial Banks are.

3) What do Building Societies pool money for?

a) For starting business.

b) For building houses.

c) For buying land and building houses.

4) Why do Discount Houses occupy a central position in the British monetary system?

a) Because they are financed by the Bank of England.

b) Because they are very rich.

c) Because they link the Bank of England and all the rest banks.

 


Вариант 5

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