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Return on equity of banks in Europe Q4 2019, by country

This statistic presents the return on equity (ROE) of banking sectors in Europe as of December 2019, by country. Return on equity is an important measure of a bank or country’s banking sectors profitability. ROE is calculated by taking the amount of net income returned as a percentage of the shareholders equity. Return on Equity looks at how well a bank’s (or company’s) management is using its assets to create profits. As of December 2019, the Hungarian banking sector had the highest return on equity in Europe with 18.3 percent.

Return on assets

Return on assets looks at how well a company's management is in generating earnings from their assets and is used as a key measure of a bank's profitability. Low profitability has been highlighted several times by the ECB as a key risk to the financial stability of the Euro area. Prolonged low profitability can have a knock-on effect to an economy’s growth. On the other hand, sustained periods of higher than average profitability can also mean trouble as seen in the period running up to the financial crisis. The European Banking Authority (EBA) requires banks to report on key measures to determine and illuminate any potential risks.

Cost to income ratio

The cost to income ratio (C/I ratio) is an important financial metric in determining the profitability of banks. The measure looks at the cost of running operations as to a bank’s operating income. Lower ratios mean that a bank is running more profitably whereas a higher C/I ratio indicate that the bank’s operating expenses are too high.

Return on equity (ROE) of banks in Europe as of December 2019, by country

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Release date



United Kingdom

Survey time period

December 2019

Supplementary notes

The source added the following information; "Individual country data includes subsidiaries, which are excluded from EU aggregate. For example, at country level the subsidiary in country X of a bank domiciled in country Y is included both in data for countries X and Y (for the latter as part of the consolidated entity). In the EU aggregate, only the consolidated entity domiciled in country Y is considered. The sample of banks is unbalanced and reviewed annually."
Cyprus was unavailable due to less than three institutions reporting data.

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Statistics on "Banking industry in the Nordic countries "

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