Fitch expects the profitability of major Spanish banks to remain stable or improve “slightly”.

Fitch Ratings He confirms that the results of the major Spanish banks for 2021 show that profitability has remained “better than expected” and expects this year to “maintain or improve slightly”, supported by an increase in fee income. In his last analysis, where he analyzed the results of Santander, BBVA, CaixaBank, Banco Sabadellnotes that the 2021 accounts were favored due to lower surcharges for loan impairment, growth in fee income and cost management, despite the fact that Spain’s economic growth “was not as robust as expected”.

Thus, the rating agency expects the bank’s operating profitability to remain stable or even “slightly improve” in 2022 thanks to Increase fee income Families use their savings on products that generate commissions and new loan opportunities. In this sense, the report notes that mortgage loan production “rebounded strongly” in 2021, a momentum that should continue in 2022, “albeit at a slower pace,” while consumer finance generation “has greater potential for growth in 2022.” ”, after “gaining strength” in the fourth quarter of 2021.

In the corporate sector, Fitch Ratings expects to publish funds The next generation of the European Union Supporting the signing of new loans for companies and small and medium-sized enterprises after recording “weak” production in 2021 due to loans with guarantees. ICO It was signed in 2020. Likewise, Fitch believes that the cost restructuring measures implemented by the banks in 2021 will help them gain efficiencies this year, with a positive assessment of the loan portfolio and the possibility of judgments related to the pandemic”, which is still in Mostly unused.

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It also highlights the geographical diversification of Santander Bank and to a lesser extent, BBVA, especially in Latin america, which should continue to support entities. on CaixaBank, Highlights that after merging Bankya “In a good position” to continue increasing revenue, while Sabadell has achieved some of its targets set out in its strategic plan through 2023, such as profitability or the recovery of its subsidiary in United kingdomAnd TSB. However, it indicates that the entity is headed by Josep Olio It has some risks in the evolution of Spain’s business loan portfolio.

On a general level, it expects that the rate of delinquency will rise in 2022, although it will reach a “manageable” level. Most of the moratoriums expired in 2021 and these credits could have “performed better than expected”. The main asset quality risks in 2022 revolve around exposure to loans classified as “stage 2” or under special monitoring, and ICO-secured loans, Which represents 2.5% of the average total loans. A large portion of these latest credits will expire grace period during the second quarter of this year.

In this regard, they add, “Banks could explore selling their bad loans portfolios to offset new restrictions.” As risks to banking, Fitch’s ratings point to the potential for new waves of COVID-19 infection that could disrupt corporate growth and deteriorate asset quality. In addition, it indicates that Santander s BBVA They are exposed to state risk and deteriorating asset quality in the emerging markets in which they are located.

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