The most marked growth item during the six months up to mid-2006 was commission income, which increased by EUR 1.1 billion, the steepest rise since end-2000. The recent favourable economic development has led to a resurge in demand for banking services. Despite the flattening of the interest rate term structure, meanwhile, banks generated almost EUR 0.9 billion higher interest income than during the first half of 2005. At a total of EUR 15.6 billion, interest business accounts for roughly half of banks’ total income.
Corporate tax adjustments reduced the tax burden in the first half of 2006 compared to a year before. Average tax burdens came down from 24.9% in the first half of 2005 to 21.7% a year later.