Toxic, unproductive or problematical, or however you want to call those assets which were the ruin of the Spanish banks, are not easy to get rid of. Assets linked to the property bubble reached over 300 billion euros at the worst point of the crisis, between 2011 and 2012. But thanks to the lenders’ huge efforts, the last official figure from the Bank of Spain stands at 190 billion euros.
spanish banks bad loans
The Spanish banking sector earned 28% less in the first six months of the year, it has profitability problems and has seen almost half of its stock market value wiped off in the last two years. But there are two indicators which inspire optimism in the medium-term: bad loans continue to fall and there has been a strong rise in consumer credit as well as in lending to non-property companies.
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.
The indicators on credit risk are showing clear signs of improvement. The NPL ratio for the whole of the banking system fell to 11.0% in June (vs 12.5% in December 2014), the lowest level since April 2013.