Madrid(EFE) that they will have to pay more than 1,100 million for the new tax on the sector.
The rise in interest rates in Europe has contributed to the increase in the profits of the large Spanish banks -Santander, BBVA, CaixaBank, Sabadell, Bankinter and Unicaja Banco- mainly in the second half of the year.
Given these historic gains, the Government’s economic vice-president, Nadia Calviño, considers “a general outcry” for the banks to “put their shoulders together” and describes as “adequate” the tax with which the Government is going to tax the banking business and which, according to the sector, will have consequences on credit.
The bank affirms that its profitability is low
The sector points out that, despite the large profits of banks, in absolute terms their profitability is still low, especially in the business in Spain, which does not cover the cost of capital, which explains why, to a large extent, banks continue to trading on the stock market below its book value.
This is one of the main arguments of the bank to reject the tax created by the Government that taxes the interest margin and net commissions of the banking business in Spain with 4.8%, which the Executive considers extraordinary benefits due to the increase of interest rates.
For this new tax, with which the Government expects to raise 3,000 million in two years, the six major entities will pay this year more than 1,100 million euros, according to estimates published by banks and EFE calculations.
The Government’s idea is to use the money it collects with this new tax to cover part of the cost of the social measures promoted to help the most vulnerable families, although some entities have already announced that they will resort to this payment and the rest will analyze the possibility of doing so. .
Banks with record profits and dividend improvements
Santander was the group that obtained the greatest benefits: a record of 9,605 million, 18% more, followed by BBVA, with a historical milestone of 6,420 million, 38% more. In Spain, the first earned 1,560 million and the second, 1,678.
It was better for CaixaBank, owned by the State, since, according to the figures it released this Friday, its net profit reached 3,145 million, 29.7% more in comparable terms, that is, excluding the extraordinary accounting impact of its merger with Bankia, and with a symbolic contribution from its business abroad.
In the case of Sabadell, driven by the good results of TSB, its British subsidiary, the bank earned 859 million, 61.9% more than a year earlier, and the best result since 2006.
Bankinter earned 560 million, 28% more than in 2021, after discounting the capital gains obtained then by the stock market debut of Línea Directa; while Unicaja Banco recorded a profit of 260 million, 88.9% more, without taking into account the extraordinary ones from the merger with Liberbank.
With these figures, all the entities have already advanced their intention to improve shareholder remuneration, raising not only the payment in dividends but in some cases once again executing share buyback programs to increase the value of the share.
Stock market rises and political criticism
The results of Bankinter, the first bank to announce accounts and to say that it would appeal the extraordinary tax, were received on the Stock Market with a drop of 2.9%, while those of Sabadell were held with a rise that was close to 11%. Instead, the market expected more from Unicaja and reacted with a decrease of 9.48%.
BBVA’s presentation of results on Wednesday was responded to with a 4.7% advance on the stock market and with criticism from the second vice president of the Government, Yolanda Díaz: “The crisis cannot be an excuse to earn more” and claimed the freezing of variable mortgage installments so that citizens do not have to assume the increases derived from the abrupt advance of the Euribor.
To these comments were added those of the Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, who spoke of “ruthless capitalism” and, after learning the next day the record results of Santander – which rose 5.73% on the stock market that day -, He called them “impudent.”
The banking sector commits to a protocol of relief measures for minor incomes
The Ministry of Economy recalls that the sector has already committed to the Government to apply a protocol of relief measures for households with incomes of less than 29,400 euros per year and with variable mortgages whose installments rise by more than 20% and consume more 30% of your income.
These households may request that their installments be frozen for twelve months, the interest rate be reduced or the mortgage term be extended. It was also agreed to reduce expenses and commissions to facilitate the change from variable to fixed rate and to eliminate commissions for early repayment and change of mortgage from variable to fixed rate throughout 2023.
«You have to wait and monitor what we are doing and, in this sense, financial institutions voluntarily submitted their adherence to this plan (…). When we have the data, I hope they will show that it has been an effective aid,” the head of the Treasury, María Jesús Montero, also claimed on Thursday.