Portugal’s banking system closed 2018 with earning totalling €1.3 billion, against losses of € 228 million in the year before, according to the European Banking Federation (EBF).
According to the data released by EFB, these results are «largely explained by the substantial reduction in impairments».
Last year there was also a significant decrease in the non-performing loans (NPL) ratio, with total NPLs to fell by €24.6 billion since the peak in June 2016. «Ambitious strategies have been implemented to reduce NPLs and remarkable progress has been achieved: the NPL ratio has decreased significantly after reaching its peak level in June 2016 (from 17.9% to 9.4%), while the NPL coverage ratio increased from 43.2% to 51.9%», says EFB.
Total outstanding loans decreased 0.6% year-on-year, which may be an indication that deleveraging is nearing its end. Considering the domestic activity, loans to non-financial corporations (NFCs) fell 4.8% to €69.6 billion. In 2018, loans to SMEs, which correspond to 80.2% of total corporate loans, decreased 5.6% year-on-year to €55.4 billion. Furthermore, SMEs’ overdue credit dropped significantly (down 35.7% year-on-year or €3.2 billion), with the corresponding ratio standing at 10.4% (versus 15.2% in 2017), mostly fuelled by the performance of micro companies. Loans to households rose by 0.5%, with loans for consumption increasing by 10.5% and loans for house purchase decreasing by 0.2%.
At the end of 2018, the Portuguese banking system comprised 150 institutions, 60 of which were banks (including 30 branches of foreign banks), 86 mutual agricultural credit banks and four savings banks. The number of bank employees stood at around 1% of the total active workforce, while the five largest banks accounted for 78% of total assets.
Original Story: EXPRESSO | Lusa
Photo: Svilen Milev from Free Images
Edition and Translation: Prime Yield