Romania, Croatia dominate regional banking index

A major new study of the region’s banks, the SeeNews Top100, has named Romania’s Banca Transilvania as the largest bank in southeastern Europe, with total assets of 15.9 billion euros.

The index, which measures the region’s banks in terms of total assets from non-consolidated balance sheets as of December 31, 2018, places Croatia’s Zagrebačka Banka, owned by UniCredit Group Italy, in second place, with close to 15.3 billion euros of total assets in 2018 while Romania’s second largest back Banca Comerciala Romana came in third with assets of more than 14.5 billion euros.

Another Romanian bank, BRD Groupe Societe Generale (11.6 billion euros), came in fourth, with Privredna Banka Zagreb of Croatia (11.2 billion euros) completing a clean sweep for Romania and Croatia in the first five places.

UniCredit Bulbank (Bulgaria; 9.9 billion euros), UniCredit Bank (Romania; 8.9 billion euros), Nova Ljubljanska Banka (Slovenia; 8.8. billion euros), Raiffeisen Bank (Romania; 8.6 billion euros) and Erste&Steiermarkische Bank (Croatia; 8.3 billion euros) also made the top 10.

Altogether, the 100-bank list includes 16 Bulgarian, 16 Serbian, 13 Romanian, 11 Bosnian, 7 Albanian, 5 Macedonian, 4 Moldovan and 4 Kosovan banks.

“The top five banks in [the SEE region] account for 25 per cent of the total assets of the top 100 lenders in the region. The aggregate assets of the banking systems rose by 5.5 per cent year-on-year, to close to 312 billion euros as of end-2018, as annual growth accelerated from 4.1 per cent in 2017. The fastest expansion was reported in Serbia, Moldova and North Macedonia – of 12.2 per cent, 9.8 per cent and 9.3 per cent, respectively,” the report said.