Spain’s four nationalized banks will more than halve their balance sheets in five years, slash jobs and impose hefty losses on bondholders, under plans approved by the European Commission on Wednesday.
The measures open the door for nearly 40 billion euros ($52 billion)in euro zone bail-out funds for the state-rescued banks, offering hope for an end to Spain’s banking crisis which has pushed the country to the brink of asking for sovereign aid.
The approval sets in place one of the most far-reaching over-hauls of any European banking system ordered by the Commission since the start of a banking crisis in mid-2007 with the near collapse of German lender IKB.
“Our objective is to restore the viability of banks receiving aid so that they are able to function without public support in the future,” said European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said.
Bankia, NCG Banco, Catalunya Banc and Banco de Valencia were taken over by the Spanish state after unsustainable lending during the country’s decade-long property boom left the lenders dangerously short of capital.
The smallest of the four banks, Banco de Valencia, will be sold to one of Spain’s healthiest lenders Caixabank, while the other three banks must cut their balance sheets by more than 60 percent over the next five years.
This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.