During the recent financial crisis bank profitability has become an element of strong concern for regulators and policymakers; in fact, both self-financing strategies and capital increases – necessary to provide a higher level of capitalization – rely on the ability of a bank to generate profits. However, the determinants of bank profitability, which seemed to be unequivocally identified by previous literature, appear to have changed under the effect of regulatory and competitive dynamics. We test this hypothesis on commercial, cooperative and saving banks, employing a random effect panel regression on a dataset comprising bank-level data and macroeconomic information (covering the period 2006-2013) for nine countries of the Euro area. Our findings suggest that after a period of “irrational exuberance” in which credit growth and high leverage were seen as proper and fast ways to boost profitability, a sound financial structure and a wiser and objective credit portfolio management have become the main drivers to ensure higher returns.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherVita e Pensiero
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)978-88-343-3313-6
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • banche, area euro, redditività
  • banks, Euro Area, profitability


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