The total EBITDA of all 29 banks in Serbia amounted to RSD 68.7 billion at the end of 2017, which is 47.39 billion more than at the end of the previous year, the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) announced on July 17.
The NBS report says that 22 banks realized a profit, whereas seven incurred losses.
As the NBS estimates, the rising profits of commercial banks in Serbia are mostly down to the reduction of losses arising from bad loans (by RSD 33 billion), as well as the consolidation of the banking sector, that is, mergers and acquisitions of banks due to changes of ownership structures (RSD 12.5 billion of contribution to the net result).
Interest income is lower by RSD 8.7 billion than in the previous year due to the monetary easing and the consequent general drop in interest rates in the interbank market and the market of dinar loans and securities, which, as the NBS estimates, has been partially neutralized through the lowering of interest expenditures by RSD 5.8 billion.
Banks in Serbia had a total of 23,055 employees at the end of 2017, which is 892 fewer than in 2016.
The total net assets of the banking sector amounted to around RSD 3,369 billion, and their total capital equaled RSD 667.1 billion.
The NBS says that the high capitalization of the banking sector of Serbia was confirmed at the end of 2017, when the capital adequacy ratio was at 22.6%, far above the regulatory minimum of 8%.
Non-performing loans amounted to RSD 204.9 billion at the end of 2017.
The share of non-performing loans in banks' total loans was 9.8%, which, as the NBS estimates, is the lowest level since the implementation of the uniform definition of NPLs and mandatory reporting in 2008. At the end of 2016, the share stood at 17%.
The NBS said that it would aim to maintain financial stability in the upcoming period, with professional dedication to the protection of the interests of financial service beneficiaries primarily, but also of all other relevant participants in the market.