Banco Popular Rescued from Collapse by Santander
Santander will be asking investors for close to €7 billion equal to $7.9 billion in fresh capital to help cover the cost to boost Popular, which due to billions of poor property loans has been pulled down.
Santander came to the rescue after the European Central Bank declared that Popular was going to be wound down. It marks the first time that the European Union (UE) regime adopted following the financial crisis, that deals with banks that are failing, has been used.
This new measure breaks the mold of using money from taxpayers, as it instead imposes heavy losses on the shareholders and some creditors, a step call unexpected by two debt investors.
The owners of AT1 as well as AT2 bonds took losses of nearly €2 billion, while shareholders suffered total losses and senior bondholders were all spared.
Popular, the sixth largest bank in Spain has struggled for quite some time and has repeatedly asked for fresh capital from its shareholders.
However, recent acceleration in deposits being withdrawn compounded funding problems that triggered the sale.
Elke Konig, who chairs the EU agency Single Resolution Board, which winds down banks that become insolvent, said the intervention was needed overnight.
Reaction by Spanish regulators to the problematic lender came promptly in comparison to Italy, which has grappled for years with problems that lenders have been suffering.
In contrast to the 2008 banking crisis, this move in Spain was accepted calmly in financial markets and bank shares in Europe moved up.
Luis de Guindos the Economy Minister in Spain said Santander’s takeover resulted in a positive outcome for Banco Popular given the situation it has been in over the past few weeks. He added that it would no impact other banks or public resources.
Santander chairperson Ana Botin presented the bank’s case for the deal that was hastily organized arguing the combination of both banks would strengthen the reach geographically of the group as the economy improved in both Portugal and Spain.
Santander, which was not affected by the Spain banking crisis that forced the government to look for international aid, announced that buying Banco Popular would help accelerate its growth as well as profit starting in 2019.
The bank is setting aside over €7.9 billion to cover costs of Popular’s non-performing assets or loans that are at risk of not paying.
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