In brief

  • Banks face losses due to coronavirus lockdown.
  • The Market cap of the five largest banks in Europe has dropped 40%.
  • Bitcoin has recovered from the COVID-crash.

The market capitalization of the five largest banks in Europe has dropped 40% in three months.

According to data from Finanso.se, the market cap of the five banks combined fell from $407.44 billion at the end of December 2019 to $240 billion at the end of March 2020.

The largest bank in Europe, HSBC, alone fell by $47 billion in this time frame, to $114.08 billion. French bank BNP Paribas also lost 40% of its market cap; it fell from $74.03 billion to $42.62 billion. 

Banco Santander, the third largest, lost 44% of its market cap in the first quarter of 2020. It fell from a market cap of $66.96 billion at the end of December to $37.55 billion at the end of March. Its net profit fell by 82%.

Santander too, saw a drop in profits. Image: Shutterstock.

And Lloyds Banking and ING Group, the fourth and fifth largest banks in Europe, lost over 50% of their market caps. Lloyds fell from $57.97 billion to $26.59 billion, and the Dutch bank, ING Group, fell from $46.96 billion to $20.07 billion. 

This is all down to the coronavirus pandemic, which toward the end of the first quarter of 2020 strongly affected Europe. Spain, Italy, the UK, France and Germany are among the worst affected countries in the world, surpassed in infections and deaths only by the US. 

To date, there are over 3.6 million confirmed cases and over 250,000 confirmed deaths, according to data from Worldometers. The majority of deaths are in Europe. 

That the banks have posted record losses shows how the crisis has tanked the global economy. The International Monetary Fund predicts that the coronavirus pandemic will cause the world global recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. 

When Bitcoin tracked global markets in mid-March, its value practically cut in half overnight when global markets tanked. But it has since made a strong recovery. Will it outpace the banks?

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