Blog Post

Non-performing loans in Italy and selected European countries

Vulnerabilities in the Italian banking system are causing fears of a banking crisis to surface.

By: Date: December 18, 2015 Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation

Fears of a banking crisis in Italy are surfacing after four small Italian banks were rescued in November.

The rescue plan involves transferring the banks’ bad loans to a single bad bank. Non-performing loans (NPLs), loans in default or close to being in default, continue to raise doubts about the health of the banking sector in Italy and several other European countries. NPLs are shown to have negative implications for growth (Aiyar et al. 2015).

In Italy, the share of NPLs in total loans has increased from six percent at the end of 2008 to 18 percent now, totalling more than EUR 300 billion.

Although Italy suffers from a higher proportion of NPLs than Spain and Portugal, which have also experienced trouble in their banking sectors, Italy has not experienced a sharp rise in NPLs as occurred in Greece and especially in Cyprus.

Non-performing loans (NPLs) as a percentage of total loans

NPL-share-FSI

Source: Financial Soundness Indicators (IMF)

Vulnerabilities in the Italian banking system were exposed in 2014 when nine out of the 15 major Italian banks failed the stress test in the ECB Comprehensive Assessment. Those that fared particularly badly, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Banca Carige, also have particularly large shares of NPLs: 31 percent (2014Q4) and 28 percent (2015Q3) respectively, according to data from SNL Financial.


Republishing and referencing

Bruegel considers itself a public good and takes no institutional standpoint. Anyone is free to republish and/or quote this post without prior consent. Please provide a full reference, clearly stating Bruegel and the relevant author as the source, and include a prominent hyperlink to the original post.

View comments
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Non-performing loans’ legacy versus secondary markets

Eleven years since the start of Europe’s financial crisis, and the legacy of non-performing loans in the EU, though much smaller, is still a live issue for some member states.

By: Joanna Surala Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: December 10, 2019
Read article More by this author

Blog Post

Bank regulation in the European Union neighbourhood: limits of the ‘Brussels effect’

The EU model of financial market regulation is increasingly copied by third countries. In this context, the EU’s efforts to promote its model beyond its borders should take into account the underdevelopment of financial markets in many partner countries, and the often insufficient capacity of regulators and supervisors.

By: Alexander Lehmann Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: November 20, 2019
Read article Download PDF More by this author

Policy Contribution

Crisis management for euro-area banks in central Europe

Euro-area bank integration has decreased as post-financial crisis national rules require banks to hold more capital at home. It might be undermined further by bank resolution planning. Either a Single Resolution Board takes the lead for the entire banking group or independent local intervention schemes need to be developed for crisis resolution.

By: Alexander Lehmann Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: November 19, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Under swollen tides, Venice says more about our future than our past

While tides high enough to submerge Venice used to be rare, occurring every two to three decades, they have now become increasingly regular. Five of the ten highest tides in recorded history occurred over the last 20 years, with the most recent one having occurred just last year. Is this the new normal?

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: November 18, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Opinion

Upbeat outlook from Chinese banks' profits masks growing problems for small banks

The performance of Chinese banks has been resilient so far, despite decelerating growth. While the performance of large banks remained steady, the rebound came from small banks. Why have small banks rebounded and is the rebound sustainable?

By: Alicia García-Herrero and Gary Ng Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: November 12, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Scholz's improved plan to complete the banking union

The head of German Finance has written in the Financial Times defending the need to deepen the banking union, now London is about to leave

By: Rebecca Christie Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: November 8, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Why investors should temper optimism over a China trade rally

The economy is in worse shape than in 2015 and policies to boost growth are not as effective as they once were

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: November 6, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Opinion

Politics, not policy will help Lagarde save the eurozone

Her success at helm of Europe’s central bank will depend on her ability to mend fences with hawkish policymakers.

By: Guntram B. Wolff and Rebecca Christie Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: November 4, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

How not to spend it

Buying a car, a house or a cryptocurrency has never been easier: with a simple click, digital banking has made financial operations accessible to everyone. But, while Fintech has become widespread, financial literacy does not seem to keep up the pace. This week Maria Demertzis and Nicholas Barrett are joined by Annamaria Lusardi, Denit Trust Endowed Chair of Economics and Accountancy from George Washington University School of Business to discuss financial literacy.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: October 31, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Bank resolution: consistency and predictability

Closed-door workshop on various aspects of bank resolution.

Speakers: Rebecca Christie, Jon Cunliffe, Martin J. Gruenberg, Elke König, Pamela Lintner, Martin Merlin, Maria Velentza, Nicolas Véron and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: October 29, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

Talking about Europe: La Stampa 1940s-2010s

An on-going research project at Bruegel seeks to quantify and analyse printed media discourses about Europe over the decades since the end of the Second World War. In this third blogpost, we carry out the exercise on 9.9 million articles from an Italian daily newspaper, La Stampa. The trend increase in the frequency of European related articles, previously found looking at the French and German press, is confirmed in the case of Italy.

By: Enrico Bergamini, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Francesco Papadia and Giuseppe Porcaro Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: October 22, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Opinion

China's dual banking system: consolidation as the final solution for weak small banks

There are fundamental solvency and liquidity issues for some small Chinese banks, widely influencing both the bond market as well as the broader financial sector. Given the difficulties in creating a level playing field between small and large banks, there is an expectation that small banks will continue to under-perform.

By: Alicia García-Herrero and Gary Ng Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: September 16, 2019
Load more posts