in 2019 impaired loans in Europe falling … -2-

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Rome, August 1. (askanews) – The profitability of banks operating in Italy is confirmed, as already in 2018, on levels similar to those found in other European markets, although its determinants in the last year show different developments than the average. In particular, in contrast with the European average figure, one of the main distinctive features of the financial statements results of the Italian banks was the reduction in loan adjustments, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of equity.

This reflects, on the one hand, the continuation in 2019 of the risk reduction interventions that have been underway for some time now in Italy, which materializes in particular through the sale of bad debts and other impaired loans, and, on the other hand, the relevant write-downs already made in past years. The Italian groups are confirmed, in fact, also in 2019 among those with the highest levels of coverage on impaired loans. However, the unfavorable trend in net interest income and net commissions – which, although increasing in terms of volumes, decrease in terms of impact on capital – canceled the positive effects of the reduction in adjustments and operating costs, hindering the growth in operating profitability. compared to last year.

Overall, the trends of 2019 and the first part of 2020 show a slowdown in the performance of European and Italian banking groups, in a context in which, however, banks are more solid than in the past in terms of capital endowment and the quality of active.

Looking ahead, adds the ABI, “the main uncertainties derive from exogenous factors in the world of banks, connected to the uncertain evolution of the health emergency, both in terms of duration and intensity, and the related consequences for the economy”.

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