Rome, August 1. (askanews) – In 2019, the process of improving the asset quality of European banking groups continued, in a context of strengthening their capital endowment. However, the economic results are slightly down compared to 2018 and have remained below the levels reached before the start of the 2008/2009 financial crisis for more than a decade. This is what emerges in the sixth Report on European banking markets published by the ABI.
In detail, at the end of 2019 the amount of impaired loans (Npl) net of the losses in value already calculated in the bank balance sheets expressed as a percentage of the total loans (net Npl ratio) was 1.5% for the total European groups, down sharply from 3.8% at the end of 2014. This is a trend common to all the main countries, explains the ABI, which is however particularly marked in Italy, where the net NPL ratio fell from 10.4% at the end of 2014 to 3.2% at the end of 2019.
On the profitability side, the analysis shows that the share of banks that closed 2019 with a loss is 10%; a stable value on the low levels already achieved in 2018 and in line with the pre-crisis physiological levels of 2008/2009. It is, therefore, a share far from the 30% peak reached in 2012. The return on investment (Return On Equity – Roe), on average, is in fact around 5.8% in Europe, in drop of 7 tenths of a point compared to 2018. The decrease is mainly attributable to the reduction in revenues and the increase in adjustments, against a slight reduction in overall operating costs.
The number of large European banks capable of producing levels of performance in line with the average return required by the market remains modest.