Banking news may go from bad to worse this spring, with European Union banks set to announce earnings in coming weeks after their U.S. counterparts.
EU bank shares' performance has broadly been worse than even those of their U.S. competitors to begin 2016, with some banks seeing more than 30 percent of their value cleaved off in a turbulent market. Interest rates applied to EU banks are now lower than rates applied to U.S. institutions.
Now, what has become a challenging market for European banks is forcing some to scale back operations and retrench efforts at an inconvenient time.
"In Europe, banks are still working through problems," said Frederick Cannon, Keefe Bruyette & Woods' director of research.
But it's not clear when European banks' problems will be alleviated. Whereas the U.S. recovery from the market swoon that began the year is expected to allow the Federal Reserve to eventually proceed with its plan to lift interest rates, concern abounds in the EU over whether rates will be cut further, and go negative.
Barclays will report earnings April 27, according to an announcement Wednesday. It will be followed by Deutsche Bank, which will disclose its performance on April 28. On May 3, UBS, BNP Paribas and HSBC are each expected to announce results. Credit Suisse will release earnings May 10.