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EU bank profitability rises to seven-year high, watchdog says By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the skyline with its financial district are photographed as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues during a prolonged lockdown in Frankfurt, Germany, on January 14, 2021. REU

LONDON (Reuters) – European Union banks became significantly more profitable in the first quarter of 2021 due to higher trading income and as the burden of sour lending eased, the banking watchdog said on Wednesday of the block.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) said in its quarterly Risk Panel that banks’ return on equity, a key measure of profitability, increased to 7.6% in the first quarter from 1.9% in the year that It ended in 2020, the highest since the watchdog began compiling its dashboard in 2014.

The increase was driven by the cost of hiring risk, higher fees and commissions, and operating income, the EBA said. The dashboard is based on a sample of 131 banks representing 80% of the assets of the EU banking sector.

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