STRUCTURE AND ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION OF THE BANKING SECTOR
The data contained in this publication has been compiled from publicly available information released by the European Central Bank, European Commission, Eurostat, the European Banking Authority, national competent authorities and members of the European Banking Federation. Unless otherwise noted, all graphs and tables have been produced to illustrate the figures mentioned in the relevant chapters.
Due to rounding, figures presented in the charts throughout this document may not sum.
Number of banks
The downward trend in the number of EU-28 credit institutions, which started in 2009, continued in 2017, falling to 6,250. This marked a decline of 5% compared to the previous year and a reduction of 2,275 in total since contraction started. Most of the consolidation has occurred within credit institutions legally incorporated into the reporting country, where the stock has fallen by 31% since 2008. This trend includes factors such as mergers in the banking sector with a view to enhancing profitability.
The countries that experienced the largest contraction in absolute terms in 2017 were Germany (-70 units), Italy (-65), Hungary (-49) and Austria (-43), according to the ECB. Sweden (+3 units) and the UK (+15) were the only countries where the number of credit institutions increased. The number of credit institutions in the EFTA countries fell from 413 to 410 in 2017.
By end-2017, EU-28 banks employed about 2.7 million people, about 40,000 fewer than in 2016 and the lowest level since the ECB’s data series began in 1997. The five largest EU economies continue to be the five countries with the largest number of employees in the banking sector employing some 67% of the total EU-28 staff employed. Including EFTA countries, the number of staff employed in the banking sector was about 2.9 million.