Home AWARDS The International Banker 2019 Western & Eastern European Awards Winners

The International Banker 2019 Western & Eastern European Awards Winners

by internationalbanker

Spanish banks appear to be on the up, especially when compared to last year. The banking sector continues to suffer due to the impact of toxic debt on banks’ balance sheets stemming from the aftermath of the 2007-09 financial crisis and real-estate market collapse. As such, households in Spain are continuing to cut their outstanding credit. But referring to recent stress tests, Bank of Spain Governor Pablo Hernández de Cos said that the results obtained are “generally speaking, more favourable than last year, since the entities (…) reduced their exposure (to foreclosed assets)”. But de Cos also warned that the continuing high public-debt levels remain a concern, and as such, the next elections in Spain should deliver a stable government.

But while bad loans may be a problem in Spain, they are proving to be an even bigger one in France, despite French banks having healthier balance sheets on the whole. According to a recent study by Deloitte, new regulations are forcing French banks to expedite their sales of bad loans. The new rules from European financial regulators are pressing banks to tackle their bad loans as quickly as possible. As such, the Deloitte study observes that because French lenders hold the second-largest NPL (nonperforming loan) stock in Europe, they are “starting to feel the pressure irrespective of the health of their balance sheets”. French banks held €124 billion of NPLs at the end of June, with €70 billion being tied to assets in their home market at the end of last year.

Thanks to short-term gains in their mortgage books, several Danish lenders are upgrading their profit guidance for 2019. Banks including Spar Nord Bank, Vestjysk Bank, Skjern Bank, Kreditbanken, Jutlander Bank, Salling Bank and Djurslands Bank are all enjoying strong growth in mortgage credit, which is now enabling them to upgrade their profit outlooks. Thanks mainly to low interest rates, a record number of Danish homeowners have been able to refinance their mortgage loans and replace their variable mortgages with long-term, fixed rates. Indeed, the average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage bond was just 1.29 percent on October 4, lower than the 2.09 percent recorded a year earlier and substantially less than the 2008 peak of 7.43 percent, according to data from Realkredit Danmark.

Following the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ’s) ruling on Swiss-franc mortgages, Polish banks are set to face costs of 20 billion to 30 billion zlotys ($5.1 to $7.6 billion). The court ruled in favour of Polish consumers who have taken out mortgages in Swiss francs and who are now allowed to ask Polish courts to convert them into the Polish zloty currency. According to Polish rate-setter Eugeniusz Gatnar, the ruling will not impact the stability of the banking sector in Poland “because it does not introduce an obligatory mechanism for the conversion of Swiss franc loans”. But Gatnar does believe that the verdict could speed up sector consolidation.

As economic growth slows in the Czech Republic, Moody’s has lowered its outlook for the country’s banking system, from positive to stable. The ratings agency took the action on October 14 on the basis that while Czech loan quality remains among the best in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), it will “weaken modestly” after several years of rapid loan growth, as economic growth cools. Moody’s now forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) growth to slow from 2.9 percent last year to 2.7 percent in 2019, and then slow further to 2.5 percent in 2020. That said, it also points to “rising interest rates and robust lending growth”, which should benefit Czech banks’ net profitability into 2020.

Bank-sector liquidity is on the rise in Hungary, meanwhile. According to a recent report by the Hungarian National Bank, the forint liquidity of the sector rose in September from August’s levels, mainly due to an increase in the average stock of credit institutions’ overnight deposits, which according to preliminary data rose by HUF 145.4 billion to HUF 526.2 billion. The central bank’s average stock of external assets was also up by HUF 441.2 billion during the month to reach HUF 10,205 billion. This was partly down to the depreciation of the forint during the month, as well as thanks to transfers received from the European Commission (EC). The average stock of currency in circulation, meanwhile, rose during the month to reach HUF 6,338.6 billion by the end.

 

 >>>WESTERN EUROPE AWARD WINNERS  

 

               BANKING CEO OF THE YEAR                  
Western Europe

Mr. Philippe Brassac

Crédit Agricole (France)

**********

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE
PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

Western Europe

ANDBANK (Andorra)

**********

Best Banking Group Cyprus
Bank of Cyprus

Best Banking Group France
Groupe Crédit Agricole

Best Investment Bank Of The Year Belgium
Degroof Petercam

Best Investment Bank Of The Year France
Société Générale

Best Investment Bank Of The Year Portugal
Banco Invest

Best Investment Bank Of The Year Switzerland
Credit Suisse

Best Investment Bank Of The Year Turkey
ICBC Turkey

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Austria
Erste Bank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Denmark
Nykredit

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year France
Crédit Agricole

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Germany
Commerzbank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Norway
DNB

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Turkey
ICBC Turkey

Best Private Bank Of The Year Andorra
ANDBANK

Best Private Bank Of The Year France
BNP Paribas Banque Privée

Best Private Bank Of The Year Switzerland
UBS

Best Private Bank Of The Year Portugal
Banco Finantia

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Austria
Erste Bank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking France
Société Générale

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Greece
Praxia bank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Netherlands
ABN AMRO

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Spain
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Switzerland
Migros Bank

 

 

 

 >>>EASTERN EUROPE AWARD WINNERS  

 

BANKING CEO OF THE YEAR
Eastern Europe

Mr. Ömer Tetik

Banca Transilvania (Romania)

**********

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE
PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

Eastern Europe

Banka Kombëtare Tregtare (BKT) (Albania)

**********

Best Banking Group Hungary
OTP Group

Best Banking Group Romania
Banca Transilvania Financial Group

Best Banking Group Slovenia
NLB Group

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Bulgaria
Central Cooperative Bank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Croatia
Hrvatska poštanska banka

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Czech Republic
Česká spořitelna

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Hungary
OTP Bank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Moldova
Moldova Agroindbank (MAIB)

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Romania
Banca Transilvania

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Russia
VTB Bank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Serbia
AIK Banka

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Slovenia
SKB Banka

Best Private Bank Of The Year Czech Republic
ČSOB

Best Private Bank Of The Year Russia
Sberbank Private Banking

Best Private Bank Of The Year Slovenia
SKB Banka

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Albania
Banka Kombëtare Tregtare (BKT)

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Bulgaria
UniCredit Bulbank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Croatia
Zagrebačka banka

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Czech Republic
ČSOB

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Hungary
CIB Bank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Poland
mBank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Romania
BRD

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Serbia
AIK Banka

 

 

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