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Looking beyond the pandemic: Strong comeback of European banks

November 1, 2021
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On face value, the European banking industry has recovered well from the coronavirus shock. Revenues, loan loss provisions and profits are largely back at their pre-crisis level, as is corporate loan growth. Below the surface, some shifts remain – interest income continues to suffer, but fees and commissions and trading income outperform. Funding from the ECB and even more so liquidity held at the central bank move from one record to the next, similarly to capital and liquidity ratios. The gap to US banks has widened further. EU implementation of the final Basel III rules has now reached decision stage, already causing concern about future European competitiveness. [more]

More documents about "Banking and financial markets"

193 Documents
September 14, 2022
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1
On July 21, the ECB announced that it would raise the interest rate on the deposit facility from -0.5% to 0%, effective July 27. By the end of that very month, banks in Germany had reduced their stock of banknotes and coins by a record EUR 11 billion. There is much to suggest that they will continue to reduce their non-interest-bearing cash holdings, as the ECB interest rate will rise further to 0.75% in mid-September. [more]
September 2, 2022
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2
For the financial sector, sustainable finance is steadily moving up the priority list. It is about incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into finance. The global volume of ESG-labelled assets grew to USD 35 tr in 2020 and may reach USD 41 tr by the end of this year. Despite strong growth, sustainable finance still faces obstacles such as the absence of a universally accepted definition of ESG and a lack of data on ESG metrics. Regulation is trying to keep pace with market dynamics to facilitate the flow of funds into sustainable activities. Key initiatives include the establishment of taxonomies, disclosure rules and product-related regulation. In the short term, sustainable finance faces headwinds from adverse macroeconomic conditions and emerging regulatory requirements, but the fundamental growth drivers remain intact. [more]
August 26, 2022
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3
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]
July 26, 2022
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4
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]
July 19, 2022
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5
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]
May 20, 2022
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In this edition of Focus Germany we look at the cyclical, short-term challenges brought about by the Ukraine war with regard to growth, inflation and public finances. We also analyse the more structural longer-term challenges, such as reducing the countries’ energy dependence on Russia and the governing coalition’s efforts to integrate new priorities precipitated by the historic watershed into its already very ambitious agenda. [more]
April 29, 2022
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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]
March 25, 2022
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In 2021, stablecoins’ market capitalization increased multifold to USD 170 bn. More importantly, they are the most traded coins in the entire crypto space and crucial for decentralized finance (DeFi). In the future, stablecoins could also gain traction in the real world – adding to the competition in the fields of retail and corporate payments. Stablecoins differ considerably in their price stabilization mechanisms and can pose risks, which have come into the spotlight of regulators. [more]
March 4, 2022
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9
War in Ukraine – slowing but not ending the German recovery. In a moderate economic scenario (which is our new baseline forecast) we expect German GDP to grow by between 2 ½% and 3% (old forecast 4%). Surging energy prices should push the annual inflation rate to around 5 ½% in 2022. Government spending is expected to be ramped up by 1 ¼ and 1 ½ pp, limiting the overall growth loss. In a more severe scenario headline inflation could rise to between 6 ½% and 7%, as oil and gas deliveries are at least temporarily halted. Annual GDP growth should be a meagre 1% to 1 ½%. [more]
December 17, 2021
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10
The rebound of Europe’s banking sector from last year’s slump in some ways resembles the recovery following the financial crisis. Just the drivers are different. While in 2009 the main improvement came from much lower writedowns on securities portfolios, in 2021 it was much lower loan loss provisions than in the prior year. In both cases, benign capital markets provided an additional tailwind for investment banking franchises. The industry’s capital and liquidity levels remain high. Maintaining this momentum in 2022 will be more difficult as the low-hanging fruit has been picked. But it may still be possible, given past experience and confidence that the macro economy will continue to gain strength once the pandemic (and supply constraints in manufacturing) has subsided. [more]
December 15, 2021
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4% GDP growth in 2022, despite technical recession in winter half. A synchronous acceleration should result in annual GDP growth of 4%. In 2023, quarterly GDP growth will slow towards trend. In fiscal policy ambitious spending plans and debt brake commitment lead to open funding questions. Based on the previous fiscal regime, the fiscal deficit is set to narrow considerably. Still, the new government’s big spending plans, which are not yet quantifiable, could drive deficits considerably higher. Inflation decelerating from 5%+ rates, but higher core rate more permanent. Carryover effects and cost pressures will keep CPI inflation elevated. In 2023, headline and core rates are unlikely to fall below 2%. German politics 2022: “Team Scholz” will focus on climate protection and sizeable corporate tax allowances for green and digital investments. German EU policy might be less fiscal orthodox and open to a cautious reform of the EU’s fiscal rules. [more]
December 15, 2021
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12
Over 101 billion non-cash payments were made in the euro area in 2020, a meagre increase of 3.7%, which mainly reflects a slump in growth of card payments. However, depending on the country and on the payment situation, there were different trends during the pandemic. At the till, payment habits are converging towards card use. In online shopping, national differences (card or e-payment solution) seem to become more pronounced. [more]
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