The newsletter of GBRW Expert Witness

May 2019


May you live in interesting times...


It’s a cliché that we live in a period of unprecedented change, but some numbers from a recent study on the global banking industry by our sister company GBRW Consulting still have the potential to surprise us.

The study compares the balance sheets of the largest 20 banks in the world at December 2009 (a year after the peak of the Global Financial Crisis) and December 2017 (the most recent date for which published accounts are currently available). Over that 8 year period, major upheavals have taken place:

  • In December 2009, 6 of the world’s 10 largest banks were European, 2 were American and 2 Asian (one Japanese and one Chinese). The top five positions were all held by European banks.
  • In December 2017, the 5 largest banks in the world were Asian (four Chinese and one Japanese). The only three European banks left in the top ten ranked in seventh, eighth and tenth positions.

The scale of the changes which have taken place is also illustrated by comparing balance sheet figures at December 2017 with those at December 2008 (the peak of the GFC):

  • Over this 9 year period, the top three Chinese banks - now the world’s largest - tripled their assets to an aggregate US$ 10 trillion, with ICBC the largest at US$4 trillion.
  • Conversely, RBS shrank by more than two-thirds, falling from a peak of US$ 3.5 trillion to under $1 trillion; UBS more than halved, from US$1.9 to US$ 0.9 trillion; and Deutsche Bank fell by 40% to $1.8 trillion.

This analysis provides an interesting backdrop to the article on The changing breed of UK property lender by Tony Whetstone, an experienced commercial property lending expert with whom we have worked recently on a number of cases.

Elsewhere, my colleague David Croft discusses the constraints which result from acting as a Single Joint Expert – instructing solicitors may find his observations helpful when considering an SJE appointment.

Finally, our focus on developing our expert support capabilities in the field of Trade Finance is reflected in our new brochure covering this area.

Paul Rex

Managing Director,

GBRW Expert Witness
May 2019


GBRW Expert Witness Limited

Paul Rex, Jeremy Denton-Clark, David
Croft, Tim Dowlen, John Turnbull

Level 17, Dashwood House
69 Old Broad Street
London EC2M 1QS
T: +44 (0) 20 7562 8390

Singapore office:

Martin Edwards, Director, Asia
T: +65 9623 1657

Athens office:

Emmanouil (Manolis) Skourtis
T: +30 693 680 2792

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