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Looking beyond the pandemic: Strong comeback of European banks

November 1, 2021
Region:
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 contained in "Talking Point"

174 Documents
July 26, 2022
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1
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
Analyst:
2
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]
July 6, 2022
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3
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]
April 29, 2022
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4
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]
December 17, 2021
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5
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]
September 8, 2021
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Analyst:
6
Due to the continuing shortage of semiconductors, 2021 will be another weak year for Germany as an automotive location. Although the current economic and supply crisis may have reached its low point, a return to earlier highs is unlikely – even in the medium term. By contrast, German auto manufacturers are reporting positive results and gaining share in important markets. The discrepancy between Germany as an automotive location and the German auto industry is becoming apparent. [more]
September 3, 2021
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Analyst:
7
The goal is clear: In the future, Germany’s energy needs are to be met to the largest possible extent by electricity from renewable sources. This will entail high initial expenses for companies and households, as existing infrastructure will have to be retrofitted or replaced. At the same time, companies and households have seen electricity prices rise more strongly than petrol, diesel, natural gas or heating oil prices over the last few years. This suggests that policymakers should reduce the state components of electricity prices as quickly as possible. This would have favourable social-policy effects and strengthen Germany’s position as an industrial hub, particularly since it has already suffered considerably from electricity-price-related burdens. [more]
July 1, 2021
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Analyst:
8
The spread of the delta variant will divert tourist flows in the 2021 summer season when individual holiday countries – such as Portugal recently – are classified as areas of variants of concern. However, delta is also likely to become dominant in Germany and other European countries in the near future. The question therefore arises as to how long the classification of countries with a high share of delta as areas of variants of concern can be justified. Ultimately, the classification into risk area and high incidence area might again be more reasonable. If a protection concept is lacking at schools after the summer vacations and delta leads to disruptions in school operations, this could influence the voting decisions of many people. [more]
May 28, 2021
Region:
9
The recovery was quick and resounding. The banking sector in Europe has shaken off the impact of the pandemic and in many ways it looks like nothing happened in the past two years at all. In Q1 2021, profitability, costs, efficiency levels, several capital and liquidity indicators were all similar to Q1 2019. Nevertheless, the crisis has left its imprint: balance sheets are far larger, revenues and loan loss provisions are substantially higher, as is the CET1 ratio. Hence, there is still room for further normalisation. [more]
May 11, 2021
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Analyst:
10
The Federal Constitutional Court's "climate change order" has the potential to trigger considerable political and social disruption. The greenhouse gas emission reduction targets set by policymakers will have implications for our everyday lives. Political and social resistance appears inevitable. We need better climate technologies. Better technology is key if we want to keep climate-related restrictions to individual freedom as well as political and social tensions as low as possible, both now and in the future. Perhaps we should regard the Court order as a call for much higher investments in research and development. [more]
April 28, 2021
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11
We compare the current debate with the discussion about the introduction of the computer in the 1980s. Then as now, positive and negative effects on a macroeconomic level could almost cancel each other out at first. Accordingly, we anticipate that the question of productivity is only likely to be answered in some years’ time. [more]
April 19, 2021
Region:
12
After Berlin's rent cap was declared unconstitutional by the Federal Constitutional Court, Germany is discussing the consequences. Will there be a nationwide rent cap after the federal election in September? This is one of the most frequent and potentially most important questions for many landlords and tenants. [more]
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