An increasing number of the world's largest banks now have more activities outside their home country than within. But what do we know about the effects of internationalization, and what is a successful business model for the future? This book explores the formulation, implementation and evaluation of internationalization strategies in banking. The international strategies of the world's leading banks in eight countries are examined between 1980 and 2004, strategic patterns are identified and the effects on profitability, stability and shareholder performance are analysed. The results are sobering. Increasing profitability and shareholder return through internationalization turns out to be extremely challenging. Only a few banks are able to turn international banking activities into a success. With the ongoing cross-border consolidation in the banking industry, this book is an important contribution to the internationalization debate and a must-read for bank management, regulators and shareholders.