This paper examines how the ECB should respond to the currently low profitability of significant banks in the Banking Union. The subdued profitability appears to be a structural problem caused by overbanking, with too many bank assets chasing too few profitable banking sector opportunities. To address the root problem of overbanking, the ECB should use its existing supervisory powers to require significant banks with unsustainably low profitability to restructure reducing their overall size. This document was provided by the Economic Governance Support Unit at the request of the ECON Committee.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) published today its annual Report on risks and vulnerabilities in the EU banking sector. The Report is accompanied by the publication of the 2019 EU-wide transparency exercise, which provides detailed information, in a comparable and accessible format, for 131 banks across the EU. Overall, EU banks’ solvency ratios remained stable, while the NPL ratio further contracted. Amidst low profitability, a proactive management of operating expenses is essential.
EU ambassadors today approved the Council’s position on a proposal for a common framework and minimum requirements for out-of-court mechanism to recover the value from loans guaranteed with collateral in case the borrower is not able to pay it back. Effective out-of-court enforcement can help prevent the accumulation of non-performing loans (NPLs), as it provides banks with legal instruments to recover collateral more quickly. Negotiations with the European Parliament can proceed as soon as the Parliament has agreed its stance.