The Bank of Spain’s (BoS) Financial Stability Report usually puts its finger on the problem when it highlights the main risks affecting the banking business. As well as low interest rates and the deterioriation in both Spanish and global economic prospects, the BoS’ latest report points to another factor which has not warranted so much attention: the decline in the prices of financial assets, both in fixed income securities and equities.
F. Barciela / F.G. Ljubetic | The crisis forced Spain’s banking industry to cut its number of branch offices from 46,000 in 2008 to 31,000 at end-2015, the lowest figure since 1983. But now it’s technology, the Internet and mobile which will force the banks to continue reducing their branch networks. This is a challenge facing banks across Europe and the US.
MADRID | By Ilan Brat and Christopher Bjork at The Wall Street Journal via Presseurop | It has puzzled Spanish bank analysts for years: Why did the country’s mortgage delinquency rate rise so slowly even as unemployment soared above 26%? A big part of the answer—revealed by a spate of bank earnings reports in recent days—is that Spanish lenders had been making their loan books look healthier than they really were by refinancing big numbers of loans to struggling homeowners and businesses.