The financial crisis of 2008 left its mark on the macroeconomic, regulatory and legal environments in the United Kingdom. It was followed by a long period of consolidation in the banking sector. Although the major British banks have managed to improve their performances recently, they are now faced with fresh challenges, starting with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. For the banks, this uncertainty will not be resolved immediately by the conclusion of the Brexit as they will still need to adjust to the loss of their European passporting rights and potentially to address a contraction in demand in their domestic market.
More than ten years after the financial crisis and as Brexit approaches, we are taking a look at the health of the UK banking industry, and more specifically that of its five main players (Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered) who between them still had 76% of the sector's total assets in 20181. Whilst they are very different in terms of the geographical split and make-up of their businesses, all these banks have long histories, having been active in the UK since the 18th or 19th centuries.
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