The European Central Bank (ECB) has updated its dataset of structural financial indicators for the banking sector in the European Union (EU) for the end of 2021. This annual dataset comprises statistics on the number of offices and employees of EU credit institutions, data on the degree of concentration of the banking sector in each EU Member State and data on foreign-controlled institutions in EU national banking markets.
The structural financial indicators show a further decline in the number of bank offices in the EU, averaging 1.98% across Member States. Falls ranging from -0.2% to -22.93% were observed in 20 of the 27 countries. The total number of offices in the EU at the end of 2021 was 138,294, 82.56% of which were located in the euro area.
In the course of 2021, the number of employees of credit institutions fell in 21 EU Member States, with an average decline of 0.85% across all countries. This decline in the number of bank employees is a trend that has been observed in most countries since 2008.
The data also indicate that the degree of concentration in the banking sector (measured by the share of assets held by the five largest banks) continues to vary considerably between EU Member States. At the national level the share of total assets of the five largest credit institutions ranged from 29.65% to 98.01%, while the EU average at the end of 2021 was 67.71%.
The structural financial indicators are published by the ECB on an annual basis.