EU banks built up own-sovereign risks through Covid crisis

Italian, Spanish and French banks in particular saw holdings of domestic government debt surge

European banks’ holdings of debt issued by their host governments increased roughly 12% to €1.73 trillion ($2.11 trillion) over the first half of 2020, regulator data shows.

Own-government holdings increased faster than total sovereign exposures, which rose 10% to €3.81 trillion as of June 30, according to the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) latest transparency exercise.

The average ratio of own-government bonds to total sovereign exposures, at almost 54%, was slightly down from 56% at end

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