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Cost-to-income ratio (CIR) of banks in Belgium 2010-2015, by bank cluster

This statistic shows the cost-to-income ratio (CIR) of banks in Belgium from 2010 to 2015, by bank cluster. In 2015, the bank cluster of "big universal banks" (including BNP Paribas Fortis, Belfius Bank, ING and KBC Group) reached a CIR of approximately 59 percent, which is a decrease from the 70 percent reached in 2012. This indicates that the big Belgian banks increased their income and made successful efforts to cut their costs between 2012 and 2015.
The Belgian banking sector has two important characteristics. First, banking is deemed an important part of Belgian culture with a relative high number of bank offices in the country. In 2015, for example, the total number of offices of the big banks established in Belgium (BNP Paribas Fortis, KBC Bank, Belfius Bank and ING Belgium) reached approximately 3,180 in the whole country. This is due to the fact that many banking offices in Belgium are managed by entrepreneurs who are not directly on the payroll of the bank itself. Consequently, the decrease of bank branches, which characterizes the financial sector in most European countries, happens at a slower rate. Between 2008 and 2015, the population serviced by one credit institution increased from approximately 102,000 people in 2008 to approximately 113,000 people in 2015.

Second, the Belgian banking landscape has the presence of several big non-Belgian banking concerns, notably Dutch bank ING and France-based BNP Paribas. In 2016, BNP Paribas Fortis reached a phased-in Common Equity Tier 1 (CET 1) ratio of approximately 14 percent.

Cost-to-income ratio (CIR) of banks in Belgium from 2010 to 2015, by bank cluster

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Release date

June 2017



Survey time period

2010 to 2015

Special properties

performance analysis of 13 Belgian banks*

Supplementary notes

The sources states that the numbers provided are from a DuPont-analysis on Belgian banking. "For each bank", so the source mentions "a balanced set of European peers was constructed to benchmark their performance. Peers were selected based on size, type of activities, type of ownership, level of internationalization and balance sheet structure". Finally, the source distinguishes between three bank clusters "to account for the differences in business model and exposure to macroeconomic developments":

Big universal banks
Tier-1 banks with activities in wide range of businesses that traditionally have a dense distribution network.

BNP Paribas (Fortis)
Belfius Bank
ING (Belgium)
KBC Group

Locally anchored retail banks
Banks with an exclusive focus on retail customers, served mostly through independent agents with high proximity to the clients.

Record Bank
VDK Spaarbank

Niche players
Small banks with activities in specific niches (e.g. private banking, consumer finance, liberal professions, ...) that position themselves as specialists.

Bank J. van Breda & C
Delta Lloyd

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