“In mid-2013, Europe’s banks benefited from a slightly calmer situation,” announces Les Echos. Notwithstanding an economic environment that remains fragile, banks’ overall after-tax profits rose in the course of the second quarter.

In France, the business daily notes —

All establishments […] managed to reinforce their financial structures and launch cost reduction programmes, without resorting to massive staff cuts.

However, Les Echos also points out that European banks will have to face three major challenges over the next year —

… the review of banking assets under ECB control, the next wave of stress tests, and the implementation of the banking union.