European banks will pay out between €10.5 and 11 Bn in dividends this year, according to “very preliminary” estimates by the European Central Bank, following consultations with the lenders. Spanish Santander, BBVA, CaixaBank and Bankinter have been authorised by the ECB to distribute 15% of their profits in dividends to their shareholders. Sabadell will not remunerate its shareholders so it would not have requested authorisation, while Bankia will do so after merging with CaixaBank, in April or May.
How solid a banking system is is such a cloudy issue that it’s difficult to make a valuation without doubts or ambiguities. For example, in Italy it’s vox populi that the banking sector is very weak, but what about in Spain?