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A Turning Point for Banking: Unravelling the Changing Landscape of Banking Activity in Europe since the COVID-19 pandemic

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  • Andrea Bellucci

    (Universita' degli Studi dell'Insubria and Mo.Fi.R.)

  • Gianluca Gucciardi

    (Universita' degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca)

Abstract

This study investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the European banking system, focusing on lending activities and risk-taking behavior. We use a difference-in-differences (DID) approach to compare the performance of banks highly impacted by the pandemic with those operating in less affected countries. Our results indicate a negative impact on lending activities, as banks reduced their exposure to both individuals and businesses. Nonetheless, the impact on banks' risk-taking was heterogeneous, as certain banks increased their risks taking by relaxing their lending standards in order to support their borrowers, while others adopted stricter lending criteria. The reduction in total lending observed for the entire banking system is primarily drive by less capitalized banks and those with limited access to public guarantees schemes. Different characteristics, such as size, profitability, and listing status, led to varied lending behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic, with smaller and more profitable banks exhibiting greater resilience. In summary, our findings suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the European banking system, resulting in decreased lending activities and a varied effect on risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Bellucci & Gianluca Gucciardi, 2023. "A Turning Point for Banking: Unravelling the Changing Landscape of Banking Activity in Europe since the COVID-19 pandemic," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 183, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:anc:wmofir:183
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Banks; Finance; Risks; Lending activities; Financial Crisis; Pandemic;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance

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