One Third of European Banks Closed Since 2008

One Third of European Banks Closed Since 2008

The European banking sector has been affected by a declining trend over the last decade, with a noticeable fall in the number of banks, credit institutions, and the number of people working for them. According to data gathered by, the number of European banks fell to 5,963 as of January 2020, or 30% less compared to 2008 figures. Statistics show that around 2,600 banks, and credit institutions in Europe were closed in the last twelve years.

The Number of Bank Branches Fell by 27%

In 2008, there were 8,525 credit institutions in the EU, revealed the European Banking Federation survey. The 2008 financial crisis triggered the downsizing trend, which has continued relentlessly ever since. In the next four years, the number of credit institutions in the EU plunged to 7,862.

By the end of 2016, the decreasing trend cut down the number of European credit institutions to 6,596, or nearly 2,000 less compared to 2008 figures.

The 2020 figures revealed that one in four credit institutions disappeared since the financial crisis. Moreover, statistics show that in the last twelve years the number of bank branches fell by almost 65,000, or 27% less compared to 2008 figures, reflecting the growing use of online and mobile banking services across EU countries.

Germany Holds 25% of All European Banks in 2020

The downsizing trend in the number of European banks continued in 2019, revealed the Statista survey. Last year’s 2.7% decline was smaller than in recent years and was most notable in Germany, Italy, Austria, and Ireland. However, the 2020 data show that Germany still holds 25% of all credit institutions in Europe.

The German banking system is made up of private banks, publicly owned banks, and member-owned credit unions. As of January 2020, Germany had 1,531 operating banks or nearly one thousand more than any other European country. The largest one among them is Deutsche Bank, with around €1.3trn in total assets.

Poland ranked second on the list with 627 banks operating as of January this year. Austria, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom follow, with 522, 485, 406, and 401 banks, respectively. Statistics show that almost 65% of all European banks operate in one of the six leading markets.

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