The Bank of Spain has decided to maintain the counter-cyclical capital buffer applicable to credit exposures in Spain at 0% during the third quarter of the year. It will probably also do the same in the coming quarters due to the current context of the coronavirus crisis as the severe macroeconomic and financial impact of the Covid-19 crisis require credit institutions to maintain the flow of financing to the real economy. The aim of the counter-cyclical capital buffer is to reinforce the solvency of the banking system in phases of excessive credit growth.
The sale of non-performing loans (NPLs) in Spain totalled € 22 billion in 2019, 63% lower than the 60 billion registered the previous year, according to data from Prime Yield’s ‘Keep an Eye on the NPL & REO Markets’ report.
The Mortgage Loan Reference Index (IRPH) represents approximately 10% of the loans granted in Spain and is the most used for Spanish mortgages after the Euribor, used in 90% of contracts. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has left it to Spanish judges to analyze, on a case-by-case basis, whether the banks commercialized their mortgages referenced to IRPH in a transparent manner. They will be able to cancel them if it is found they have been abusive.
The credit quality of Spanish banks looks solid, despite the pull-back in reported profits. Solvency ratios sitting comfortably above requirements offer greater leeway for capital distribution and will result in higher returns, benefiting investors, says Scope Ratings. Spanish bank creditors should see the banks’ improved capital-generation capacity as a sign of strength, even if capital ratios have peaked for this cycle.
Bankia’s results were much better than market expectations, however, there are some uncertainties about its share price. The bank has achieved a profit of € 542 million, 23% less, with experts expecting a greater adjustment due to the bank’s efforts to get rid of unproductive assets.
Spanish banks, represented by 8 entities (Santander, BBVA, Caixabank, Sabadell, Bankia, Bankinter, Kutxabank and Abanca) occupy the seventh place worldwide by brand value and account for 4% of the total brand value of the banking sector, according to Brand Finance Banking 500 ranking of Brand Finance, the leading global independent brand valuation consultant.
Morgan Stanley | Looking ahead to 4Q, we expect modest growth in NII (+ 0.5% QoQ) and by 2020 we have -2% (Caixabank -1% and Bankia -3.5% YoY). The growth in commissions will improve by comparable easy and inflows (we expect + 4% YoY on average).
Banco Santander has been named Bank of the Year in Western Europe, the Americas, Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Chile by The Banker magazine. The Banker recognized the bank’s “peerless commitment to an enhanced customer experience”, its pursuit of operational efficiency and its development of new digital, global trade and global merchant services.
The relatively poor performance continues. “So far this year, Spanish banks have been the worse performing subsegment in the universe of European banks we cover, with average fall of c.14% (total returns)”, analysts at Santander point out.
The Bank of Spain will maintain of the counter-cyclical buffer at 0%, arguing that (a) the credit-GDP gap continues in negative territory, and (b) the Spanish economy still shows a remarkable strength as the GDP increased by 0, 7% t/t in 1Q19.