Europe Bank Profits May Drop $35 Billion on Brexit, Goldman Says

  • U.K. banks’ net income may decline $11 billion on lower fees
  • Benelux and Nordic banks likely least hurt, analysts say

Brexit may shave 32 billion euros ($35 billion) off European bank earnings through 2018, a 11 percent decline from what profits would have been without the economic shock, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

U.K. banks will be hurt the most as Britain’s vote to leave the European Union erases 10 billion euros of potential net income, Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note to clients on Tuesday. Banks in the Benelux and Nordic countries will suffer the least, they said.

“We forecast a weaker outlook owing to lower volumes, margins and fees,” as well as higher credit risks, the group of analysts, led by Jernej Omahen, said in the note. “We also expect lower activity levels for capital markets and wholesale businesses, as well as lower asset values and flows in the asset-gathering business.”

Financial markets convulsed as the U.K. vote to exit the EU on Thursday sparked turmoil across financial markets, and prompted analysts to downgrade European banks. Investors dumped the pound and equities and piled into safe-haven assets including gold and German bunds.

In the euro region, German banks will be the most affected due to their low cost efficiency, the Goldman Sachs analysts said.

The Bloomberg Europe Banks and Financial Services Index rose 3 percent on Tuesday after a two-day plunge of more than 20 percent.

In Britain, the Goldman Sachs analysts cut Barclays Plc to neutral from buy, citing “heightened operational risk due to passporting,” the system that lets banks in EU member states service clients in all the trading bloc’s countries. Barclays has the biggest investment bank among London-based lenders.

British challenger banks will be “particularly affected due to fast growth and operating leverage,” the analysts said, downgrading Shawbrook Group Plc to neutral. Shawbrook fell 8 percent, the most among U.K. lenders, on Tuesday after saying it would probably take a 9 million-pound charge this quarter because of improper lending.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.