Spain Makes Banks Pay Double To Deposit Guarantee Fund


The Spanish government Friday said it has approved a decree that will make banks more than double their contribution to the Spanish deposit guarantee fund, a measure aimed at getting lenders to shoulder a bigger part of the cost of financial sector restructuring. Under the new legislation, banks will have to pay an annual fee of 0.2% of the deposits they hold into the deposit guarantee fund, up from between 0.06% and 0.1% now. Finance Minister Elena Salgado said she expects banks to contribute EUR1.5 billion to EUR1.6 billion to the fund per year after the change. "The restructuring of the financial system will have zero cost for the tax contributor, and today's law reinforces that idea," Salgado said at a press conference following the outgoing Socialist government's weekly cabinet meeting. The move follows a recent government initiative to merge the deposit guarantee fund of the commercial banks with that of the savings banks, and use its funds to cover losses resulting from sector cleanup, part of a wider plan to slash a gaping government budget deficit. The deposit guarantee fund currently holds a total of EUR6.59 billion. The move didn't go down well with bankers. The AEB, a banking association which represents Spain's commercial banks and not the savings banks, said it is "surprising and unfair" that the banks are being forced to pay more to the fund. Until now, none of the listed banks has taken state aid, while several savings banks have been bailed out. Economists and analysts are concerned that the mounting cost of the cleanup of Spain's ailing banks will undermine Spain's efforts to bring down the deficit. Spain's state-backed Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring injected EUR7.55 billion in its banks to help them meet new minimum capital requirements the government set earlier this year. This comes on top of around EUR10 billion the FROB earlier provided to banks. But the total amount falls far short of the capital needs estimated by many independent analysts. Just last month, the Bank of Spain seized Banco de Valencia SA (BVA.MC), a lender with EUR24 billion in assets that like many Spanish lenders had made big and ultimately fatal bets on lending to real-estate developers. That took the tally of nationalized banks to seven since 2008, after a massive real-estate bubble burst. Only two of these have so far been auctioned off. The Bank of Spain next week is expected to finalize the auction of Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo (CAM.MC), by handing it over to midsized lender Banco de Sabadell SA (SAB.MC). Central bank Governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez recently called CAM "the worst of the worst" of the country's ailing banks, and is offering the buyer sweeping guarantees against future loan losses resulting from its exposure to the real-estate sector. The prime minister elect, Mariano Rajoy of the conservative Popular Party, has said cleaning up the banking sector is one of his main priorities when he assumes power later this month, though he has yet to spell out how he plans to conduct this cleanup


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...