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European banks: Shrinkage abounds

October 23, 2018
The European banking industry remains in restructuring mode. Most institutions are focused on increasing profitability and returns to shareholders. In contrast to previous periods of rising net income, the key this time is exiting less attractive parts of their business rather than expanding across the board. Hence, most P&L and balance sheet components have declined year-over-year, with one major exception: profits. Capital levels have suffered from new, more conservative accounting rules on loan loss provisions. [more]

More documents about "Europe"

144 (25-36)
August 14, 2017
Yields on German government debt securities have fallen rapidly in the aftermath of the global financial and economic crisis and provided a considerable relief to the public sector budget. At the moment, federal government securities have negative yields for maturities up to 6 years and the yield on 10 year German Bunds stands at just roughly 0.4%. [more]
August 3, 2017
The benign economic and public environment allows to fundamentally address shortcomings of the E(M)U. The next German government’s term is faced with numerous challenges ranging from Brexit and its impact on the next EU Budget to migration and the upgrade of the euro area. A revitalised relation with France provides the opportunity for substantive steps to further stabilise the euro area albeit Germany and France need to find common ground on many issues and seek the support of EU partners. European politics is still less of a topic for the German electorate not least as mainstream parties are all various shades of pro-European. However, the next government’s party composition is likely to matter for both speed and scope of changes on European level. [more]
May 26, 2017
European banks have enjoyed a good start to the year. Revenues have risen, much more than costs. Loan loss provisions have remained low. Bottom-line profit has jumped by more than 40% compared with 12 months ago. However, the rebound has followed what was a weak period in the previous year – in fact, the industry is in many ways just back where it was in Q1 2015. What is more, judging only by the P&L, there has been relatively little change since the European debt crisis erupted in Greece seven years ago. The industry has more or less been treading water ever since, a frustrating experience after decades of strong growth and massive recent restructuring efforts. However, other performance indicators clearly show major improvements, not least with regard to banks’ de-risking and buildup of capital. [more]
May 26, 2017
The massive overvaluations on the euro-area market for residential real estate (as measured by the price-income ratios for 2007 and 2008) are a thing of the past. Currently, house prices are excessive only in several smaller countries. However, this situation is likely to change towards the end of the decade if the dynamic uptrend in German house prices continues as expected. [more]
April 25, 2017
Policymakers, clients and bankers themselves wish to know what constitutes a large bank. What is the right indicator to look at if a supervisor is interested in systemic importance and risks to financial stability? What is the right indicator to look at if a company needs a bank that can provide large-scale financing and take on substantial hedging risks? Various measures are currently in use, each with strengths and shortcomings. Regulators and academics mostly look at total assets, an accounting figure. Others reach conclusions from Tier 1 capital or market cap, two regulation- and market-based indicators. This study discusses these and other measures in detail. It draws quantitative comparisons, including across countries and different financial systems, and proposes one indicator that is best suited to measure bank size. [more]
April 4, 2017
In the current debate about the future of the EU, politicians as well as the media are warning of a tendency by member states to shift their focus back to their own national interests and of a subsequent loss of significance of the EU. Are policymakers reacting to actual changes in the attitudes of EU citizens or is there an underlying perception issue here? [more]
March 23, 2017
With developments in the UK and the US, populism was a key theme in 2016. But does the perception of 2016 as “the year of the populists” really fit for Europe? A closer look suggests that while populism was an omnipresent theme in public discourse, support for populist parties in polls rather remained stable and elections did not translate into outright populist wins. The rise of populist parties has however been a multi-year trend. Populists can affect national politics in various ways. One possible effect is that forming a government (coalition) often gets more complicated and time-consuming and results in more fragile governments. Another is populists’ potential impact on policy discussions’ style and content. Pursuing policies with long-term benefits but which are often not instantly popular becomes more difficult ‒ both at the national and the European level. [more]
March 2, 2017
The European banking industry suffered a significant setback in 2016. Revenues declined across the board, cost reductions were unable to keep pace and loan loss provisions rose. As a result, net income fell by almost half. Banks resorted to aggressive de-risking, but a shrinking equity base meant that capital and leverage ratios stagnated for the first time since the financial crisis. By contrast, US banks continued to grow and set a new record in terms of nominal profits, widening the gap to their European peers. [more]