The last global financial crisis has confirmed the importance of international banking. A vast body of economic literature has studied this phenomenon from different aspects. In this paper we review critically works that cover the main features of international banking in the major countries over the last fifty years, searching for common patterns. Moreover, we draw an initial assessment of the effects of the crisis on the banks international dimension, based on the most recent literature, proposing some possible ideas for future research. We find that that changes induced by the crisis have not wiped out the underlying determinants of IB, but have reshaped it, giving to the market participants new constraints and new opportunities.