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Europe’s Banks Had Their Worst Year in a Decade Amid Pandemic

  • Lowest aggregate profit since at least 2010 at big EU lenders
  • Dividends, buybacks are on the table as provisions seen ebbing

Europe’s battered banks, reporting their toughest year in a decade, are signaling that the worst of the pandemic’s damage has passed.

Profit at the 19 major EU lenders that have published results dropped below 10 billion euros for the first since Bloomberg Intelligence started collecting the data in 2010. Still, firms including Societe Generale SA, BNP Paribas SA and Banco Santander SA have proposed resuming payouts to shareholders as loan-loss provisions are forecast to ebb and cost-cutting efforts begin to kick in.