The State of the Financial Services Industry 2012

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8 February 2012

The Real Financial Crisis: Why Financial Intermediation is Failing



Oliver Wyman has launched our 15th annual State of the Financial Services Industry report, The Real Financial Crisis: Why Financial Intermediation is Failing. The report examines what can be seen as a failure of the financial system’s intermediation of borrowers and savers: its causes, impacts and implications for financial institutions, including banks, insurers, pension funds, investors and policy makers.

The report identifies the problem that there is and will be a growing shortage of long-term capital available to the real economy and shows that, if we look simply at the needs of savers and borrowers, this should not be the case. Government and corporate demand for long-term financing is almost matched by households’ need to save for retirement. However, households commit far less to long-term savings products than they could due to unattractive offers, liquidity preferences, a relatively low level of trust in financial providers and higher tax rates on savings compared to real estate and consumption.

The report also provides some recommendations for regulators and financial institutions to help mitigate the effects of this global situation.