The Catalan bank has informed the trade unions of the adjustment resulting from the merger with Bankia. The plan, in principle, includes the lay-off of 8,291 workers, 18% of the group’s workforce in our country, although the final figure could be lower depending on the negotiations that began last week. Until now, the most significant restructuring plan in the Spanish financial industry was carried out by Bankia in 2013 and affected 4,500 workers.
Spanish banking sector
In February, Liberbank and Unicaja concluded possible merger contacts after failing to reach an agreement about the likely distribution of the shares of the new entity, but now the integration of both banks would give rise to the fifth lender in Spain in terms of asset volume, with €98.6 Bn (€56.7 Bn Unicaja and 41.95 Bn Liberbank). Net profit would reach €102 M in H1’20 (€61 M UNI and €41 M LBK). The new bank would have a network of 1,607 branches (1,028 UNI and 579 LBK) and 9,942 employees (6,274 UNI and 3,668 respectively).
Link Securities | The ratings agency Moody´s downgraded its rating outlook for the Spanish banking sector as a whole from “positive” to “stable”, as a consequence of the banks´ slowing reduction of non-performing loans (NPLs).
The agency expects fewer disinvestments in 2019 than registered in 2018, when banks accelerated the sanitisation of their balance sheets.
The banking sector has more than one reason to complain about the ECB’s latest moves. In addition to the fact that zero interest rates are burying their margins, their lending business is now suffering the damaging effects of the central bank’s corporate sector purchase programme. This new measure has meant that many big companies are substituting bank financing with bond issues.
Norbolsa | The change in trend in lending has been the most positive element in the Spanish banks’ first half 2016 results.
In the last six years, the Spanish banking sector’s return on equity (ROE) has fallen by 6.8 percentage points from 12.1% to 5.3%, mainly due to increased capital requirements. But the drop would have been even greater if it had not been for the ECB’s policies. This ROE data coincides with a complaint from Banco Popular chairman, Angel Ron, who said the regulation affecting the financial industry is “abrasive.”
Despite the fact that many of the banking sector ratios are improving, the Bank of Spain in its November bulletin has once again called on the industry to adjust its business model and even adapt its corporate strategy to a demanding economic and regulatory environment.
Last week the Spanish banking sector began its third quarter results presentations, but analysts are going one step further and are already looking for indications ahead of 2016. The outlook is not wholly favourable if we take into account the factors affecting it on the downside.
MADRID, February 20, 2015 | The Corner | Non-performing loans in Spain continue to decline, with the total ratio of bad debts now standing at 12.5% of total outstanding loans. The figures represent the fourth consecutive decline in non-performing loans and now stand at the lowest level since September 2013. The figure is over 100bps less than the 13.6% recorded in December 2013, in spite of overall lending falling by -4.6%.
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.