Insurance companies, banks and brokerage firms are actively competing for new business on each other's turf. But financial services convergence in a true sense is progressing at a tortoise-like pace: slow and cautious.When Citicorp acquired Travelers in 1998-forming Citigroup, one of the world's largest financial services institutions-many analysts hailed the union of the insurance and banking entities as the beginning of a revolution in the financial services industry.
And, when the Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Act was signed into law by President Clinton in November of 1999-removing regulatory barriers to financial services convergence-analysts became even more gleeful. Banks, insurers and brokerage firms would now rush to cross sector boundaries, they predicted, and an era of unprecedented financial mergers and acquisitions would ensue.
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