Policy Briefs

L. Bini Smaghi: What Future for the European Banking System?

The European banking sector is going through complicated times. Its performance over the last decade diverged widely from that of the US. Between 2007 and 2018, the overall market valuation of the eleven largest US banks2 increased from 915 to 1365 billion dollars, with a 50% gain. In the same time span the combined market cap of the 19 largest Eurozone banks dropped from 713 to 438 billion euro, with a 40% loss (Fig. 1). In ten years the market value of the largest US bank, JP Morgan Chase, doubled and is worth more than the ten largest European banks combined. Before the crisis it was worth slightly more than one and a half times the largest European bank, Santander; it is now 5 times larger.

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