Banks are of central importance for economic growth, the allocation of capital, competitiveness, and financial stability. Propelled by technological advances in financial analysis and financial deregulation, the banking industry's investment played a key role in enhancing national economic growth in the early 21st century. The global financial crisis in 2007 revealed the banking world's feet of clay. Since 2007, the turmoil in the global financial system has prompted a fundamental reappraisal of the scale, scope, governance, performance, safety and soundness of banks and other financial institutions. In this Very Short Introduction John Goddard and John Wilson explore the world of banking, describing the role of central banks in national and global economies, and analysing the increasing supervision and regulation imposed on the banking industry. Looking to the future, the authors consider proposals for reform of the banking industry, and the prospects of a resolution of the closely-related banking and sovereign debt crises. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.