NEW YORK -- Chase Manhattan Corp. expects to be getting 50% of its earnings from international businesses during the 1990s, president Arthur Ryan told journalists.
Mr. Ryan also said Chase's Tier 1 capital ratio will rise to 6% of risk-adjusted assets by June 30, up from 5.71% at March 31.
The Federal Reserve requires a bank's total ratio of capital to risk-weighted asset to be 8% by yearend. Half of that total is to be Tier 1, which comprises common equity and a limited amount of preferred stock.
Regarding global activities, Mr. Ryan said the bank had been generating 70% of its earnings from international sources as far back as 1974; but by 1991, after international business soured, the ratio had gone the other way and 70% of earnings were domestic.
Now, Mr. Ryan said, the objective is to bring the two into better balance by refocusing both sides of the business.
"The future is international," Mr. Ryan said, adding that the global arena presents some of the best opportunities for growth.
He said while it might be useful to have a cadre of bankers on the ground in certain develoing countries, in the developed countries such activities as corporate finance, risk management, and treasury and custodial services can be run from a central headquarters in just one location.
"We're not going to be a local competitor" to foreign banks, he said, adding that the true definition of an international bank is the reach of products rather than the number of branches.
Mr. Ryan outlined a similar philosophy for the domestic part of Chase Manhattan's plans, saying the bank had no desire to follow those who have sought to acquire and expand branches in many parts of the United States.
"We will not be in Arizona, California, or Texas," he said, adding that Chase intends to maintain a strong retail franchise in its home market of New York state and adjacent states.
He said the bank was more likely to consider acquisitions that would extend the retail business as far south as Maryland as as far north of Boston, but he saw no sense in getting involved in branch bank networks in faraway parts of the United States.
However, Mr. Ryan said while nationwide branch banking is not the goal of Chase Manhattan, it is continuing to pursue a successful strategy of marketing certain products nationwide.
He noted that Chase Manhattan is the second-largest credit card issuer in the United States and the fourth-largest mortgage company.
Auto financing is another activity being pursued nationwide, he said.
He said U.S. regulators must recognize that Chase and others are turning increasingly to the international arena.
"My one criticism of U.S. regulators is they think the world ends on the East Coast and West Coast" of the United States, he said.
Mr. Ryan decried a move in the accounting profession to bring more "mark to market" accounting into the banking systems. He said daily revaluations make sense for trading accounts.
For assets that are going to be held long term, he asked: "What's the relevance?" He said "investors will go bananas" if the system is adopted, and added, "as an economic principle, it's dumb."
He said further reforms to U.S. banking regulations, which divide most of the business into investment banking and commercial banking segments, appear stalled indefinitely in the Congress.