Have financial sector changes enhanced competiton?
With the eurozone's economic outlook finally starting to improve, companies that offer financial services are likely to expand in the coming years.
A significant number of banks were forced to accept public bailouts following the global economic crash in 2008-09 and lenders have had little choice but to tighten their lending policies.
Competition in the financial services sector has actually increased in recent years, as some companies that were not traditionally associated with loans, overdrafts, insurance and mortgages saw a sizeable gap in the market.
Finland's S-Bank was established by renowned retail organisation S-Group in 2007, while the likes of Tesco and Marks & Spencer are good examples of British grocery stores that have moved into the financial services field.
Dell - a US multinational technology company that is most famous for producing laptop computers - is another business that has recognised the merits of this approach.
It announced in September 2013 that it would create 300 jobs over the next three years by opening up a new financial services centre in Cherrywood, Dublin.
Dell was granted a banking licence by the Central Bank of Ireland in June and it will now offer commercial loans and leases to small and medium-sized enterprises in Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the UK.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan hailed the news as a "very positive development" for the Republic of Ireland's economy.
"We have a strong and well-established financial services sector in Ireland and combined with Dell's track record here, I am sure that this venture will be a great success," he commented.
With supermarkets and other retailers demonstrating that "non-financial companies" can successfully enter this industry, it could prompt more businesses to follow suit.
As levels of consumer and corporate confidence increase in the next few years, the demand for mortgages, personal loans and commercial finance packages will rise sharply.
Banks and lenders need to ensure they have enough experienced personnel to manage this extra business without making the same mistakes that cost the industry so dearly back in 2008-09.