Spain’s banks currently have on their books something close to 213 billion euros in property risks (assets and loans). Is that a lot or not? Judging by the recent reports from the Bank of Spain or Moody’s, the total is rather worrying: and we are not talking about small change but about the fact that our lenders still have an amount of property on their balance sheets equivalent to 20% of GDP.
Spain’s property market is consolidating its recovery in the residential segment, while commercial real estate is clearly in an upward trend. But the fact that Sareb still has a substantial amount of property assets to dispose of, some of them with discounts of over 50%, will keep a lid on prices for the time being.
Spain’s medium-sized banks are prime targets in the next expected round of sector consolidation. But these lenders need to improve their P&L accounts ahead of further integration.
MADRID | February 24, 2015 | By Carlos Díaz Güell | Spanish banks’ NPLs rate went down by 1.1% in 2014 standing at 12.5% thanks to the sharp fall of the delinquency rate (12.5% year on year) that offset the impact of banks’ reducing their lending activity. In fact, if lending had remained stable in 2014 (it went down by -4.6%), the default rate would have been of 11%.
MADRID | By Francisco López | The purchase of Barclays’ retail banking division in Spain by CaixaBank has further accentuated the gap among the three major lenders (Santander, BBVA and Caixa) from the rest of their competitors. Experts insist on this process of bipolarisation of the Spanish banking system, with very big banks in the national and even international level, and other local, small or very specialised banks. All banks have done their homework with the restructuring, but now they face the most complicated challenge: to adapt their business models to the new scenario emerged after the crisis and become profitable again.
MADRID | By Francisco López | The sale of Catalunya Banc to BBVA practically closed the restructuring of the Spanish banking system, which was launched in 2009 at the height of the crisis, and that has reduced to less than a third the number of players in the sector.
MADRID | By Carlos Díaz Güell | The Spanish central lender ordered the national bad bank Sareb’s to assess the 107,000 toxic real estate assets again and 215,000 collaterals on loans that it purchased to the intervened financial entities. This new due dilligence ruined the work of 24 companies such as the property firm Richard Ellis, Clifford Chance’s lawyers and the consulting group KPMG.
MADRID | By Julia Pastor | In the Spanish banks restructuring process, the €100 bn credit line coming from Brussels was crucial. However, Spain’s financial sector also saved itself by transferring €7.5 bn from the banks in better conditions to those that were nationalized, basically via contributions to the Deposit Guarantee Fund and the national bad bank Sareb. [Picture: “Banks should pay for the crisis”]
MADRID | Dumping damaged assets at a price much below accounting value and cumulated provisions will entail large own resources imbalances for the banks taking part in the Sareb bank. JP Marín Arrese is sorry for taxpayers.