6.3 billion in the first quarter of the year

Another record for the banking system. Growing numbers also in first quarter of the year where the top seven banking groups in the country (IntesaSanpaolo, Unicredit, Bpm, Mps, Bper, Popolare di Sondrio and Credem) recorded profits of 6.3 billion for a +25.6% on the first three months of 20203. This was revealed by a short report conducted by the Studies & Research Office of Fisac ​​Cgil on the financial statement results of the top seven national banking groups in the first quarter of 2024.

Banks, record profits

After the record results for the large banking groups in the past two years, comments the general secretary of Fisac ​​Cgil, Susy Esposito, “many expected a slowdown, thanks to the expected drop in interest rates. The ECB's delay in decreasing the reference rates, and consequently the transmission of this to the active rates practiced by the banks, together with the continuing policy of poor remuneration of deposits, has kept the level of revenues from money management high”.

The interest marginas noted in the Fisac ​​Cgil report, still rises, for the sample, by almost 7% in the first three months of the year compared to the same period of 2023. The dynamics of commissions, for almost all groups, has accelerated (+5.3%) and often derives from the push for the sale of insurance products but also from those relating to the administration of securities. The product of the two most significant components of the core banking activity pushed i further upwards total revenues (17.8 billion euros for a +9.8%).

6.3 billion in the first quarter of the year

On the side of Staff costs, which recorded an increase of +2.5% also resulting from the renewal of the ABI contract, remain higher on average compared to the same period of 2023 albeit to a limited extent, as are administrative expenses, underlines the Fisac ​​report. This dynamic demonstrates, on the staff costs side, the banks' ability to act managerially to keep the latter under control, also and unfortunately by implementing staff reduction policies as well as lack of turnover.

On the side of administrative expenses (-0.5%), the forecast of investments in new technology, explains Fisac ​​Cgil, as envisaged by almost all business plans, would suggest an increase in the latter also at the expense of the erosion of margins, a phenomenon which does not has yet occurred. Conversely, the containment of expenses, also through the policy of branch closures, to the benefit of the profitability available for the distribution of profits, can slow down the process of technological innovation, as well as confirm the dynamic of reduction of employees and branches.

Investing in employment and territory

The feared credit deterioration, as can be seen again in the Fisac ​​Cgil study, as a consequence of the high rates and the slowdown of the economy, does not seem to substantially come true, at least in terms of the dynamics of the corrections of the first quarter, which practically halved compared to the same period of 2023 (-41%). Recalling that the first seven banking groups with registered office in our country closed last year with a net profit of 22.2 billion euros (up 77.4% compared to 2022), the first quarter of the current year records, for the sample used by Fisac ​​Cgil, net profits equal to 6.3 billion. The figure compared to the first quarter of last year, of just over 5 billion, therefore marks an increase of 25.6%.

“These still record numbers, comments the general secretary of Fisac ​​Cgil, Susy Esposito, “in the face of a containment in terms of personnel spending, despite the renewal of the contract, as well as administrative expenses, must induce the banking system to fully to invest in employment and rooting in the territory. Digitalisation, impact of new technologies, governance of artificial intelligence, are just some of the dynamics that will impact the credit system in the near future and which will have to find an answer through work: on new and good employmenton the presence and proximity in support of citizens and businesses”, concludes Esposito.