Foreign Banks' American Miscues

Chinese banks have been cleared to invest in U.S. banks but are proceeding cautiously to avoid missteps, industry observers say. Click to view foreign banks that fled the U.S. following major stumbles here or problems back home.
(Image: Bloomberg News)

Sumitomo Bank Sumitomo Bank

Sumitomo entered the U.S. in the 1950s and expanded in California during a wave of U.S. investments by Japanese banks in the 1980s and early 1990s. That trend reversed when the Japanese economy cratered. In 1998 Sumitomo sold its U.S. commercial banking operations, based in San Francisco, to Zions Bank for the fire-sale price of $546 million.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

UFJ Holdings UFJ Holdings

UFJ is another Japanese bank that expanded in California during the 1990s before abruptly pulling up stakes. In 2001, the Tokyo-based company, which was losing money at home and facing pressure to raise capital, sold United California Bank to Bank of the West (owned by France's BNP Paribas of France) for $2.4 billion.

Related Article: Pressed at Home, Japan Banks Divest in the U.S.

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Allied Irish Allied Irish

Baltimore-based Allfirst Bank booked losses of nearly $700 million in early 2002 following a rogue currency trader's bad bets on the Japanese yen. A few months later, Allfirst's owner, Allied Irish, announced it was selling the $18 billion-asset bank to M&T Bank of Buffalo.

Related Article: Were Allfirst Monitors out of Their Depth?

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

CIBC moved aggressively into investment banking in the U.S. following its 1995 acquisition of a small New York firm. Ill-advised investments in subprime mortgage-backed securities led to massive losses, and in 2007 it sold much its U.S. investment banking operations to Oppenheimer Holdings.

Related Article: CIBC Takes the Low-Risk Road Across the Border

(Image: Bloomberg News)

ABN Amro ABN Amro

The Dutch banking giant ran LaSalle Bank in Chicago for nearly 30 years, but pressure from investors forced ABN Amro to break itself up. In 2007 it sold LaSalle to Bank of America for about $21 billion.

Related Article: B of A's View on LaSalle – Fixer-Upper, Great Location

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Piraeus Bank Piraeus Bank

Plagued by problems at home and in need of fresh capital, Greece’s fourth-largest bank was forced to put its $900 million-asset Marathon Bank in New York up for sale earlier this year. Investors Bancorp in New Jersey is buying Marathon for about $135 million.

Related Article: Orphaned Greek Bank Finds Home with Investors Bancorp

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Royal Bank of Canada Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada's 2001 acquisition of Centura Bank in North Carolina – later named RBC Bank USA – worked out fine until the real estate market went bust and saddled the Toronto bank with billions of dollars in problem loans. The U.S. unit was sold to PNC Financial Services Group earlier this year for about $3.4 billion.

Related Article: Underneath the Complex Deal for RBC is Simple Uncertainty

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Chinese banks have clearance to invest in U.S. banks but are proceeding cautiously to avoid any missteps, industry observers say. Click through to view foreign banks that fled the U.S. because of major stumbles here or problems back home.

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Posted by byelsxei i | Wednesday, March 20 2013 at 4:37PM ET
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