For a long time, Slovak banks have been among the most profitable in Europe, but the central bank NBS expects their profitability to regress to the European average in the coming years. The mortgage market will saturate and the rapidly ageing population in Slovakia will depress demand for new loans, too. Last year, Slovak banks had an average return on assets (ROA) of 11%, well below the 18% in Hungary and 14.6% in Czechia but almost double compared to the European average of 6.5%. US banks managed 12%, as they are more cost effective. The European banks fail to make money for their owners, can’t create a large enough capital cushion ahead of the next crisis and lack funds for efficiency improving investments.