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Big US banks boost returns on riskier assets; Europeans more mixed picture

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Big US banks boost returns on riskier assets; Europeans more mixed picture

More than half of the 20 largest European and American banks saw a year-over-year improvement in their second-quarter return on risk-weighted assets, data from S&P Global Market Intelligence shows.

Intesa Sanpaolo SpA posted the highest return among the banks in the sample. The Italian lender's RoRWA stood at 5.96% for the second quarter, up from 1.35% the year before, after receiving a €3.5 billion boost from the Italian government to offset the impact of its acquisition of certain assets and liabilities of Veneto Banca SpA and Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA.

RoRWA is a measure of whether a bank is generating adequate rewards for the risks it has undertaken.

The U.K.'s Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Barclays Plc saw contrasting figures in the second quarter. The former posted a return of 1.53%, compared to negative 1.54% in the year-ago period, while the latter's return plunged to negative 1.37% from a positive 1.04% over the same period.

All the U.S.-based banks in the sample — JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. — posted a year-over-year increase in RoRWA.

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