Capital requirements in Europe increase with activation of countercyclical buffer

España bancos

Renta 4| According to press reports, some European countries are demanding more capital from banks, with the activation or the intention to do so of the countercyclical buffer.

Germany, France and the UK are among the countries whose central banks are studying the possibility of activating the buffer, while Iceland has just announced its activation, setting the maximum allowed at 2.5% (Norway and Denmark are already at that level).

In Spain the countercyclical buffer is at 0%, and for the moment the Bank of Spain does not consider that the existing threats are sufficient to justify the activation of the buffer.


On some occasions it has been said that what happened with SVB/Credit Suisse and the successive bankruptcies of domestic banks in the United States could lead to an increase in regulatory requirements.

This decision by the various central banks to activate the countercyclical buffer ought to be seen as a consequence of this as well as the uncertainty at the macro level.

It should be noted that the activation of the countercyclical buffer does not pose a risk to dividend policies in the case of Spanish banks given that they have high capital levels versus requirements (360 bps higher at the end of 2022). Therefore, the activation of the buffer would imply a reduction of the difference versus requirements but not a need to accumulate more capital.

There should be no negative impact on share prices for this reason.

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