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Biggest Banks Set Aside $66 Billion to Handle Bad Loans

A worker cleans ATMs at a Citibank branch in New York on April 10.
A worker cleans ATMs at a Citibank branch in New York on April 10.Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg
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The world’s biggest banks have set aside $78.8 billion so far this quarter for an expected increase in bad loans as lockdowns to combat the spread of the coronavirus raise the specter of large-scale corporate defaults.

U.S. banks were among the most aggressive, with nine of the biggest earmarking $32.5 billion. Europe lagged behind, with 13 of its largest banks that have reported results so far putting away $17.9 billion. Lloyds Banking Group Plc on Thursday said it set aside about $1.8 billion and France’s Societe Generale SA warned its provisions could reach more than $5 billion this year in the worst case.