European Cooperative Banks in 2019

02 Dec 2020

This research letter written by Professor Hans Groeneveld, Tilburg University, the Netherlands presents consolidated financial indicators of 18 co-operative banking groups in 13 European countries for 2019.2 It is intended for co-operative bankers, policy makers, regulators and academics. The member base of all co-operative banks expanded by 1.3 percent to almost 86 million. The market shares in domestic retail banking stabilised at the record levels reached in 2018. In 2019, key banking ratios did not differ significantly between co-operative banking groups and the entire banking sector. The average Tier 1 ratio of co-operative banks remained at a record level of 15.9, while the same ratio for all other banks almost equalled this level by 15.6 in 2019. It is small consolation to observe that banks have entered the global health and economic crisis caused by covid-19 in 2020 at least with solid capital buffers. The average cost-to-income ratio of co-operative banks declined by one percentage point to 64.3, whereas this metric increased slightly to 62.1 for all other banks. Co-operative banks reported the same average return on equity as in 2018 (6.1%), whereas this ratio dropped by 0.6 percentage point to 5.7% for all other banks. Lending and deposit growth at co-operative banks accelerated. Both categories of banks closed down around 4% of their branches.