Catalan Government finally approves tax on empty flats owned by financial institutions

July 15, 2014 08:54 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government approved on Tuesday a measure to impose a tax on empty flats owned by financial institutions. The aim of the tax is to incentivise banks to rent out the empty homes. Santi Vila, the Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability, said that the "mere announcement" of the tax has already caused Sareb [Spain's public 'bad bank'], Catalunya Caixa and Bankia to yield to the Government 1,230 apartments for social rent. During the press conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting, Vila pointed out that the new tax will not apply to individuals and will only be intended for flats that have been taken out of the market for more than two years. The Minister also said that the measure is not simply about "tax collection" but is instead to ease the access to housing market in the midst of a housing crisis.

CatalunyaCaixa would need an additional €4.5 billion to meet the last financial requirements

June 8, 2012 01:17 AM | CNA

According to the Bank of Spain’s Deputy Governor, the Catalan bank would need an additional amount of €4.5 billion to meet the capital requirements of the last decree approved by the Spanish Government. Before this announcement, the Spanish State had already allocated €2.97 billion to rescue CatalunyaCaixa. Novagalicia would also need €4.5 billion. Combined, these €9 billion are to be added to the €19 billion for Bankia. The Spanish Government refuses to give the total figure required by the entire banking system, as it waits for the independent audit’s results. However, the IMF leaked that Spanish banks might need €40 billion.

Banc Sabadell’s President defends the work of the current Bank of Spain Governor

May 31, 2012 12:23 AM | CNA / Josep Molina

Josep Oliu, President of Banc Sabadell, thinks that if somebody is to be made responsible for the current crisis, a thorough analysis of the decisions of sector managers during the 2003-2007 period should be made, and not among those currently in charge. Oliu, who has been a banker “all his life”, feels he is a “victim” of a situation provoked by managers who were “not acting as bankers”. The Catalan banker recognised that the Spanish banking system can still face the new requirements on its own but it is getting “closer to the limit of its own economic capacity”. Besides, Oliu was very satisfied with the European Commission’s green light for CAM’s integration into Banc Sabadell’s business.

Catalan economists ask for European public funds to restructure Spanish Banks

May 11, 2012 11:44 PM | CNA / Josep Molina

Considering the “exceptional” crisis Spain’s banking system is going through, the Cercle d’Economia, a Catalan economic forum open to businesspeople and academics, recommends “drastic” measures in order to face a “systemic” problem at European level. The Chairman of Cercle d’Economia, former Spanish Minister Josep Piqué, stated that Spain “will not succeed on its own”.

Spanish banks will use their own resources to get the 26,121 million euros needed according to the new rules

October 27, 2011 11:43 PM | CNA

The Spanish stock exchange celebrated the European Summit’s results by increasing 4.96% in a one day of trading. The main managers of the Spanish banks are convinced they will get the requested core capital with their own resources. In addition, they believe they will need 13.5 billion euros, and not 26.1 once the detailed calculations are made. Spanish financial circles consider the new rules, adopted to counteract French and German banks’ exposition to Greek sovereign debt, do not particularly benefit Spanish banks, which almost do not hold any Greek debt. In addition, as was the case with the stress tests, the criteria to analyse the bank situation ignores Spain’s proposals and imposes those benefiting German banks.

Two Catalan banks fail the stress tests in worst case scenarios but would be approved if all provisions would have been taken into account

July 15, 2011 11:44 PM | CNA

Unnim and CatalunyaCaixa would have 4.5% and 4.8% of core capital respectively. However, the provisions that all Spanish banks must have to face difficult times have not been taken into account as they did not exist in other European banking systems. With these funds taken into account, Unnim and CatalunyaCaixa would have approved the tests with 6.2% and 6.3% respectively. CaixaBank, the most important Catalan bank passes the test with 6.4%.