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Talking Point

In Talking Point we present our take on current affairs and developments in the worlds of business, financial markets and politics.

191 (11-20)
April 6, 2023
Region:
Recent wobbles in US and European banking markets have been triggered by idiosyncratic issues at some institutions and broader uncertainty about the impact of central banks’ monetary tightening. However, capital and liquidity levels of the banking industry in Europe continue to be very robust. In addition, asset quality and profitability are the strongest since the financial crisis 15 years ago. Nevertheless, the market tensions are likely to result in banks tightening lending conditions for the private sector further and they could fuel discussions about the effectiveness and potential adjustments of some regulations. [more]
12
November 17, 2022
Region:
The European banking sector is currently enjoying a sweet spot. Recent interest rate increases by central banks in most advanced economies combined with strong credit growth are having a pronounced positive impact on revenues, while loan loss provisions remain fairly low so far, although they have started to climb. Bottom line, growth in administrative expenses, individual banks’ tax and litigation payments as well as Russia-related losses have reduced net income, but the industry is still on track for a decent full-year result. More importantly, fundamentally higher-for-longer interest rates may support banks’ business prospects also in the medium term. [more]
14
August 26, 2022
Region:
In an unusual constellation, the banking industry is at the same time suffering and benefiting from the current difficult macroeconomic situation. Inflation is driving up expenses, but also triggering a monetary policy normalisation which has fuelled a jump in net interest income. Meanwhile, recession fears require higher loan loss provisions. The net effect has been manageable so far, but is hard to foresee in the second half of the year. The largest capital distributions to shareholders since the financial crisis have pushed the CET1 and leverage ratios lower, though they remain at robust levels. Balance sheet growth has accelerated due to buoyant corporate and mortgage lending, but this may not last given the looming economic slowdown and further interest rate increases. [more]
15
July 26, 2022
Region:
Rising interest rates due to rampant inflation will have a mixed impact on the banking industry. They are a boon for net interest income but also cool down loan demand (currently still buoyant) and may lead to higher loan losses. This will probably be reinforced by a mild recession in Europe caused by macroeconomic and geopolitical headwinds. As a result, net income may decline yet banks should remain solidly profitable. From a comfortable starting position, capital ratios could come under pressure if risk-weighted assets continue to rise which would dampen prospects for further significant shareholder returns through dividends and share buybacks. Liquidity levels have stayed strong so far. [more]
17
July 19, 2022
Analyst:
Stablecoins and the DeFi ecosystem have taken a hard hit recently. However, the current stress for cryptos caused by tighter monetary policy may reveal which services offer real value for customers. In fact, leading collateral-backed stablecoins have weathered the storm quite well. The ecosystem will probably face further losses but emerge consolidated and well positioned for continued growth. [more]
18
July 6, 2022
Region:
Analyst:
From 2035, only climate-neutral passenger cars will be allowed to be registered in the EU. In principle, the course is being set in the direction of battery-electric mobility. However, the option of using e-fuels is not completely off the table. The market shares of electric cars in total new registrations currently vary widely within the EU. Southern and Eastern European countries are lagging behind. To increase the acceptance of e-mobility, the expansion of the charging infrastructure must be widely accelerated. This is a major challenge that also requires the support of the state. The trend towards electric mobility has already triggered a noticeable structural change in Germany as an automotive location. The net impact of this structural change on value creation and employment in Germany is likely to be negative. [more]
19
April 29, 2022
Region:
Like the real economy, the European banking sector is facing headwinds due to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Nevertheless, balance sheets and profitability are strong; indeed, 2021 was banks’ most successful year since the financial crisis and capital ratios are at record highs. And while loan loss provisions may now rise from unusually low levels, net interest income should also benefit considerably from higher interest rates as central banks combat surging inflation. However, both geopolitical and macroeconomic policy uncertainty remain remarkably high. [more]
20
37.4.8