The blackest year ends in (deep) red
The darkest year ends with the accounts in the red. The pandemic and poor economic growth have impacted banking sector balance sheets like never before. Already the half-yearly report as at 30 June had already shown worrying creaks, with a deficit of 6 billion compared to the previous twelve months. But the final balance at the end of the year is merciless: accounts in the red for 5,224 million euros, 13.4 billion less than at 31 December 2019.
The usual analysis of quarterly accounts, dedicated to banks with a traditional structure, with the corporate form of Spa and listed on the Milan Stock Exchange (thus excluding Banca Generali, Banca Mediolanum, Finecobank and Illimity and others of smaller size because with a business not comparable), highlights the worst balance sheet of the century. Never in a year had more than 5 billion euros been lost and also considering that the sum of the results of the top eight national banks was influenced by the acquisition of Ubi by Intesa Sanpaolo, with the round game that was so determined and that saw Ubi close at -3.5 billion, the fact remains that never before had such negative balance sheets been recorded.
All banking groups ended the year earning less than they had in the previous year. With two exceptions: Credito Emiliano and Credito Valtellinese. But the increase in profit, almost entirely attributable to Creval, amounts to 57 million euros, a figure that cannot be underestimated considering the size of the two institutions, but destined to be watered down in comparison with the losses of the big. The big banks are in trouble. Only Intesa Sanpaolo confirms its leadership role in Italy, which will be even more highlighted in the next few years by the integration of Ubi. Unicredit recorded a loss of 2.785 billion, Monte dei Paschi di Siena after losing one billion in 2019 closed last year at -1.6 billion. Banco Bpm, which in the previous year had almost reached 800 million in net profit, practically eliminated the result.
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