People walk past a Deutsche Bank logo ahead of the bank's annual general meeting in Frankfurt in this May 21, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/Files
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European banks are having a hard time making money.Three European giants – Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and Royal Bank of Scotland – each racked up billions of dollars in losses in 2015 .European bank stocks are down an average of 18 percent this year as of March 1, compared with a loss of 7.4 percent for the Stoxx Europe 600 index.The more a bank's business has been funded with equity, or capital, the safer it is from going bust.By one measure, the capital of the top U.S. banks averages 6.6 percent of total assets, compared with 4.5 percent for the biggest European banks. Two of France's largest banks, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale, have capital of only 4 percent of total assets. Deutsche Bank sits at the bottom of the list of Europe's large banks, with 3.5 percent; its shares are down about 22 percent in 2016 so far.Deutsche Bank bought a retail bank in 2010 to better compete against Germany's 409 savings banks and 1,047 cooperative banks.
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