Home AWARDS The International Banker 2023 Western & Eastern European Awards Winners

The International Banker 2023 Western & Eastern European Awards Winners

by internationalbanker

 

While many European countries have decided to forge ahead with the levying of windfall taxes on their respective banking industry’s profits and/or assets, Sweden has pushed back against such a notion, with its parliament, the Riksdag, blocking a bank-tax proposal in early October. Although the Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP) seeks to impose a temporary tax on Sweden’s banking-sector profits, the country’s second biggest party, the nationalist Sweden Democrats, told Bloomberg that such plans were not part of “the budget bill we were involved in and negotiated”.

An October 31 report by The Guardian found that France is Europe’s biggest supporter of “carbon bomb” extraction projects—initiatives that each carry enough fossil fuels to emit more than one gigaton of carbon dioxide (CO2). And French banks have financed a whopping $154 billion to firms operating such projects since the 2015 Paris Agreement, which involved world leaders pledging to prevent the planet from heating more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in this century while aiming for a 1.5-degree limit. Carbon-bomb projects are the world’s 425 biggest fossil-fuel-extraction projects.

According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, the quality of the assets of large Spanish, Italian and Austrian banks will lag the European average this year and worsen further in 2024. S&P’s analysis involved a sample of the biggest banks in the continent, including Spain’s Banco Santander, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Banco de Sabadell and CaixaBank; Italy’s UniCredit and Banco BPM; and Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), all of which are expected to have the highest nonperforming asset (NPA) ratios for the full-year 2023, ranging from 2.76 percent to 4.10 percent. All except BBVA (set to remain unchanged) are projected to experience deteriorating asset quality next year, with ratios ranging from 2.82 percent to 4.24 percent.

Experiencing the longest recession since modern records began and some of the highest annual inflation rates in the European Union (EU), Hungary has been mulling imposing higher taxes on its banking industry to help bring its budget finances back on course. With banks expected to rake in record earnings this year, Minister of Finance Mihály Varga said in late September that the government is considering raising taxes further on lenders as Prime Minister Viktor M. Orbán seeks to close a budget gap that hit an all-time high above $9 billion in the 12 months through August. Banks have since introduced interest caps on mortgages after the Hungarian Banking Association reportedly told local lenders to support Budapest’s proposal to provide cheaper loans to boost the economy.

According to Fitch Solutions, the Czech Republic’s client-loan growth will slow to 4.8 percent year-on-year at the end of 2023, down from 5.8 percent a year earlier, with the country’s tight monetary policy and poor macroeconomic backdrop key factors continuing to weigh on loan demand. “Loan demand has been subdued in recent months on account of softening domestic demand and tighter monetary policy,” the rating agency noted in September, observing that the Čzech National Bank (ČNB) initially hiked its policy rate much more aggressively than other central banks in the EU to rein in inflationary pressures and has held interest rates at 7 percent since June 2022, its highest level since 1999. “Higher interest rates have been filtering through to loans to households and businesses, with a particularly sharp slowdown in mortgage lending,” Fitch added. “However, we expect that the ČNB will cut rates by 100bps [basis points] in 2024, and a further 300bps in 2025, which will support stronger loan growth from Q124 onwards.”

In September, Slovenia announced its plan to impose a five-year tax on its banking sector’s profits to help finance reconstruction after severe flooding throughout Central Europe inundated much of the country, killing six people, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes and inflicting billions of dollars of damage to the Slovenian economy. The government unveiled legislation to impose the levy, amounting to 0.2 percent of banks’ total assets, over the next five years.

Not all countries are pursuing higher taxes and fees against their banking sectors, however. On November 6, Romania’s prime minister, Ion-Marcel Ciolacu, announced an agreement not to raise banking fees had been reached during a meeting with the Romanian Association of Banks (RAB) and representatives of the country’s most important banks. “This is the agreement we reached today with the Romanian Association of Banks and the representatives of the most important banks in Romania, but also with the National Bank of Romania (BNR). I am glad that our reasoning presented was fully understood, and I thank them for remaining open for dialogue,” Prime Minister Ciolacu wrote on his Facebook page.

 

 >>> WESTERN EUROPE AWARD WINNERS  

 

BANKING CEO OF THE YEAR
Western Europe
Mr. Andrea Orcel

UniCredit Group (Italy)

**********

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE
PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

Western Europe
Sbanken (Norway)

**********

Best Banking Group Belgium
KBC Group

Best Banking Group Spain
Banco Santander

Best Banking Group UK
HSBC

Best Investment Bank Of The Year France
Société Générale

Best Investment Bank Of The Year Germany
Deutsche Bank

Best Investment Bank Of The Year Italy
Mediobanca

Best Investment Bank Of The Year Portugal
Banco Invest

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year France
Banque Populaire

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Germany
Commerzbank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Ireland
Bank of Ireland

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Italy
UniCredit

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Sweden
Handelsbanken

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year UK
NatWest

Best Private Bank Of The Year France
BNP Paribas Banque Privée

Best Private Bank Of The Year Portugal
Banco Finantia

Best Private Bank Of The Year Spain
Santander Private Banking

Best Private Bank Of The Year Switzerland
Piguet Galland & Cie SA

Best Innovation In Retail Banking France
BNP Paribas

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Germany
BBBank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Ireland
AIB Group

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Italy
Banco BPM

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Norway
Sbanken

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Portugal
novobanco

 

 

 

 >>>EASTERN EUROPE AWARD WINNERS  

 

BANKING CEO OF THE YEAR
Eastern Europe
Ms. Umut Shayakhmetova

Halyk Bank (Kazakhstan)

**********

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE
PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

Eastern Europe
Citadele (Latvia)

**********

Best Banking Group Croatia
HPB (Hrvatska poštanska banka) Group

Best Banking Group Serbia
AIK Banka

Best Banking Group Slovenia
NLB Group

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Bulgaria
DSK Bank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Croatia
PBZ (Privredna banka Zagreb)

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Czech Republic
ČSOB

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Estonia
Swedbank

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Poland
Bank Pekao

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Serbia
AIK Banka

Best Commercial Bank Of The Year Slovenia
NLB Banka

Best Private Bank Of The Year Bulgaria
UniCredit Bulbank

Best Private Bank Of The Year Croatia
Zagrebačka banka

Best Private Bank Of The Year Czech Republic
Erste Private Banking

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Albania
Tirana Bank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Bosnia and Herzegovina
Nova Banka

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Bulgaria
DSK Bank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Croatia
HPB (Hrvatska poštanska banka)

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Czech Republic
ČSOB

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Estonia
Luminor Bank

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Georgia
Bank of Georgia

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Latvia
Citadele

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Montenegro
CKB

Best Innovation In Retail Banking Poland
PKO Bank Polski

 

 

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