PRESS RELEASE

EU structural financial indicators: End of 2016 (preliminary results)

30 May 2017
  • The decline in the number of bank branches continues in most EU countries, on average by 4.8%.
  • Also the number of bank employees decreased on average by 1.4%.
  • The degree of concentration of the banking sector differs across national markets very widely, with the share of assets of the five largest banks at national level varying from 28% to 97%.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has updated its comprehensive dataset of structural financial indicators for the banking sector in the European Union (EU). The annual report comprises statistics on the number of branches and employees of EU credit institutions, data on the degree of concentration of the banking sector in each EU Member State, and data on the share of foreign-controlled institutions in EU national banking markets. A further update is envisaged in July 2017.

The structural financial indicators show, for instance, that in 23 of the 26 EU Member States with already available data the number of branches of domestic credit institutions has continued to decline, on average for the 26 by 4.8%. The number of employees of credit institutions in the EU has also fallen in 19 out of 27 EU countries for which data are already available, with an average 1.4% reduction in the 27 countries. The decrease of bank employees in the majority of countries is a trend observed since 2008.

The data also indicate that the degree of concentration in the banking sector (measured by the share of assets held by the five largest banks) and the share of foreign-controlled institutions significantly differs across national markets. The share of total assets of the five largest credit institutions, at national level, ranges from 28% to 97% at the end of 2016.

Share of assets held by the five largest banks (percent)

The structural financial indicators are published this year by the ECB twice with a preliminary version in May and the final one in July.

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