The Future of Banking in Emerging Markets

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15 May 2012

Report Previously Published by Oliver Wyman


Emerging markets represent a significant growth potential for banking revenues. A new Oliver Wyman report explores such opportunities and provides recommendations for banks looking to compete in emerging markets.

Several emerging economies have grown at extraordinary rates over recent years, China, India, and Brazil most obvious among them. Their banking sectors have grown even faster, as tens of millions of their previously impoverished citizens have moved above the “bankable” income threshold, with technological innovations, such as mobile banking, speeding up this process.

Yet this development is still in its early stages: compared to the West, only a small portion of the emerging economies’ populations have bank accounts, or access to consumer credit and the mortgage market. This means that banking revenues are still small, and there is great growth potential for incumbents and entrants.

“In this paper we present our projections for the growth of banking in the twelve emerging economies that we believe provide the most attractive opportunities. We consider the risks to this growth, estimate how it will translate into bank revenues and profits, consider the growth potential of retail, define priorities for the near term and, finally, give some advice for banks looking to compete in emerging markets,” says Greg Rung, Dubai-based Partner in Oliver Wyman’s Retail and Business Banking Practice and coauthor of the report.

Michael Wagner, coauthor and New York-based Partner in Oliver Wyman’s Retail & Business Banking Practice adds, “In order to capture the potential in emerging markets, banks need to have a clear long-term strategy. We recommend a portfolio approach of 'select scale' where players choose their focus markets and invest on them by making improvements across the value chain as they tread the path to maturity.”

Oliver Wyman Contact
Paola Garbini
+39 02 3057 7442