bank of spain

27-S electoral campaign: More than just parties involved

September 25, 2015 06:47 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Not only parties have taken an active role in this intensive electoral campaign: the banking sector, Spanish diplomacy, the European institutions, international leaders, businesspeople associations and even the sports and scientific fields have had their say. Some have softened their warnings, some have signed joint letters, but all of them have reinforced the historic element of the upcoming 27-S elections. Whatever the situation may be, what is certain is that the moment is exceptional and that the elections are being closely watched internationally.

Linde corrects himself and admits that freezing bank accounts “is almost impossible”

September 23, 2015 06:42 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Bank of Spain Govenror, Luis Maria Linde, corrected his previous statement and admitted that “freezing bank accounts” if Catalonia becomes an independent country is a very “improbable, almost impossible” situation. Linde’s clarification comes after his statements last week assuring that Catalonia would face a ‘corralito’ in the event of independence. He added this Wednesday that he wasn’t “that worried” about this possibility nor is “anybody else in Europe”. Following Linde’s warning, a group of six prestigious economists asked for the Governor’s resignation and recalled that Linde’s task should be “promoting financial stability” rather than “influencing thevoters’ decisions”.

BBVA buys nationalised Catalunya Banc for €1.19 billion, meaning taxpayers will lose more than €11 billion

July 22, 2014 08:57 PM | ACN

BBVA will pay €1.187 billion to the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FROB) for the nationalised Catalan bank, beating the other two offers in the final phase of the auction process presented by Santander and Barcelona-based CaixaBank. This means that Spanish taxpayers will lose €11.84 billion considering guarantees and due to the fact that the Spanish Government injected €12.622 billion into Catalunya Banc since it was nationalised in 2011. Catalunya Banc was a private bank owned by CatalunyaCaixa, the merger of three historical Catalan savings banks (Catalunya, Tarragona and Manresa). It could not face the deep restructuring process required to meet the new banking regulations. The bank had a weak financial position resulting from a high exposition to toxic real estate and mortgages assets, as well as suffering from poor management. The BBVA will become the second largest bank operating in Catalonia, doubling its past position.

CatalunyaCaixa confirms the sale of its €6.4 billion high risk mortgages to US Blackstone

July 18, 2014 04:24 PM | ACN

CatalunyaCaixa (CX) on Thursday confirmed the sale of its portfolio of high risk loans to US investment company Blackstone, consisting mainly of mortgages with a nominal value of €6.392 billion and provisions of €2.205 billion. The transaction involved the transfer of funds to a portfolio of asset-backed securities for an amount equal to its book value, €4.187 billion, with €3.615 billion supplied by Blackstone and Spain's public Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FROB) providing the remaining 572 million. With this divestment, the CX solvency ratio stood at 14.9% and coverage stands at 81.6%. After this sale, the liquid assets of CX will reach €16.848 billion and the company is now ready to face its full privatisation, after it was nationalised in 2012.  In addition, Blackstone had already bought CX's real estate business in June in a €40 million operation.

Banc Sabadell triples its net profit in 2013

January 23, 2014 07:23 PM | ACN

Banc Sabadell, the second largest banking company in Catalonia, has ended 2013 with a net profit of €247.8 million, three times more than in 2012, after consuming €1,736.6 million in provisions and allowances for non-payments of loans, impairment of property and other financial operations. Due to the new regulations of the Bank of Spain on credit repayment and the acquisitions of other banking companies, the percentage of delayed or unpaid loans has climbed to 13.63%, 46% more than in 2012. Without the refunding operations, it would have been fixed at 11.13 %. The bank’s core capital, which is the main solvency indicator, stood at 12% and, with the new Basel III, it was set at 10.1%. Jaume Guardiola, CEO of Sabadell, believes that this trend can be the “turning point” of a crisis that was first anticipated when the results for 2012 were announced.

Bank of Spain Governor: Catalonia’s independence would bring “bankruptcy”

November 26, 2013 02:52 PM | ACN

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, replied that “nobody believes” in the “apocalyptic” message sent by the Governor of the Bank of Spain, who was appointed by the current Spanish Government in 2012. Mas asked Luís María Linde for “caution” and “to serve the whole of Spain and do not take sides”. Linde stated in Madrid that “independence is unviable”. He argued that the European Central Bank only funds Member States and thus Catalonia would be “obliged to issue its own currency” and have “its own banking supervisor”. On the same day, the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, said that if Catalonia were independent it would have “to abandon the Euro” and this could even lead to putting the entire Eurozone at risk. However, in September the European Commission confirmed that an independent Catalonia could continue to use the Euro in different scenarios.

CatalunyaBanc plans a mass layoff of 34% of its staff, affecting some 2,500 workers

August 20, 2013 09:35 PM | ACN

The Catalan bank was nationalised in 2012 and is going through an important restructuring process before being privatised again. Currently, the financial entity is owned by the FROB (Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring), which is run by the Bank of Spain and the Spanish Government. The FROB has been delaying the auction to sell CatalunyaBanc and is now proposing to layoff 2,453 workers of the bank and its subsidiaries, according to trade unions. This would represent firing some 34% of its staff. The company is proposing a compensation of 20 days worth of salary per year worked for those it plans to layoff, following the labour market reform, with a maximum of the equivalent to 12 months salary being given. CatalunyaBanc ended the first half of 2013 with a net profit of €183 million, after having transferred part of its real estate toxic assets to the so-called “bad bank” SAREB.

CatalunyaCaixa has made a profit of €183 million during the first half of 2013

August 5, 2013 05:49 PM | ACN

The solvency ratio stood at 10.21% of the bank’s total resources, with 9.77% of core capital. Barcelona-based CatalunyaCaixa closed the first half of 2013 with a net profit of €183 million, which have met targets to recapitalise the bank. The interest margin reached €264 million, which represents a reduction of 5.9% as a result of a credit transfer to the publicly-owned banking management company Sareb. In spite of this, the reduction is less than the average decline seen in the sector as a whole and it has seen a remarkable growth during the first half of 2012 of 14.8%.

Registered unemployment in Catalonia dropped by 2.26% in May compared to April

June 5, 2013 12:18 AM | CNA

By the end of last month, 14,829 fewer people were registered at the Catalan Public Employment Service, which leaves the total number of registered jobseekers at 642,166 individuals. This represents a 2.26% drop compared to the figures from April, meaning that registered unemployment decreased in Catalonia for the last three consecutive months. May is a month when unemployment tends to drop thanks to temporary summer jobs, mostly related to the tourism industry. In the whole of Spain, unemployment decreased by 1.97% in May, with 98,265 fewer people registered as unemployed. This leaves the total number of people registered as being without a job and looking for one at 4,890,928 individuals in Spain. The Catalan Government welcomes “the positive horizon” shown by the May figures but it considered them to be “insufficient” as yet.

Banc Sabadell will buy Banco Gallego for 1 euro after a €245 million injection of public money

April 20, 2013 12:52 AM | CNA

On Wednesday it became known that the Catalan Banc Sabadell would acquire Banco Gallego from the Spanish Fund for Orderly Banking Restructuring (FROB). However, the details of the operation were still being discussed and no detailed information was disclosed. On Friday, it was stated that the FROB – owned by the Spanish Government and the Bank of Spain – will inject €245 million of public money into Banco Gallego. In exchange, Banc Sabadell will buy the financial entity for the symbolical price of 1 euro but will take care of all the potential future losses.