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August 27, 2020
Large banks in Europe have taken a substantial hit from the recession induced by the coronavirus. Their revenues dropped 5% yoy in the first half of the year and loan loss provisions spiked, essentially wiping out profits. Nevertheless, the CET1 ratio increased to 14% and the leverage ratio dipped only slightly to 4.8%. Total assets surged, driven by a massive increase in liquidity reserves at central banks, a boom in corporate lending and substantial government bond purchases. By comparison, the major US banks have weathered the crisis somewhat better so far. They remained moderately profitable, despite setting aside more funds to cover future loan losses. Their revenues grew 2% yoy, a stronger headwind from the Fed’s interest rate cuts notwithstanding. Capital ratios, however, appear less resilient than in Europe. [more]