BANKING IN EUROPE:
FACTS AND FIGURES 2022
Data from 2021 show that, despite the Covid crisis and relatively low profitability, European banks played a key role in Europe’s financial system while continuing the structural transformation of the sector.
The European Banking Federation (EBF) has published Facts & Figures 2022, its annual update on the banking sector in Europe. Building on 2021 data from the European Central Bank (ECB), the statistical publication provides users with a unique perspective on the structure, performance, lending, and deposit trends in European banking alongside a country-by-country overview.
The Banking statistics for 2021 show that the total value of loans outstanding from EU MFIs increased by 13% in 2021 to about €26 trillion, the highest level since 2012. Also, total deposits from businesses and households grew by 5.7% to €16.5 trillion in the EU. Deposits from households rose by 4.3% compared to a year earlier, while business deposits increased by 8.6%. Data also confirms the upward trend in the total assets held by EU banks, expanding in 2021 for the fourth consecutive year and amounting to €40.8 trillion. Findings include an increased reliance on deposits as a source of funding with the share of deposit liabilities over total assets reaching 61% last year.
While European banks have proven resilient and capable of overcoming unforeseen conditions, the structural transformation of the sector continued in 2021 with the intent of increasing efficiency and enhancing profitability. The total number of credit institutions in 2021 stood at 5,263, a tightening of 35% after 13 years of non-stop contraction. The rationalization is due to the digitalization of banking services as well as the transformation programs by European banks to respond to customers’ evolving banking behaviors and enhance efficiency in processes. This restructuring also impacted branches with the number of banks’ branches falling to about 139,000, a decline of 5.5% compared to a year earlier.
Banking activities continue to significantly contribute to the EU economy. Despite the drop in bank employment, one in every 100 jobs in the EU is still in banking, with the banking sector employing over 2 million people by end-2021.