Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Spanish banks on another planet

I had another row with one of my lenders in Spain today. In fact, it was the same discussion, with similar responses, as I have had with several Spanish banks recently.

None of them are lending money, and if they do it is on useless terms and rates, despite the falling Euribor, and they all seem to be desperate for my clients to be depositing large amounts of savings with them !

They don't seem to understand or appreciate that most people, especially Brits these days, just don't have cash swilling around.

And they all trot out the same brainwashed shit about the situation of their banks :-

We are in a strong position
We don't have much bad debt
We won't need to merge with other banks

Bollocks, frankly.

I have been saying for years that there are too many banks and cajas in Spain, with too many branches, that sit empty all day with three or four staff scratching their backsides doing nothing.

Now that the foreign mortgage money has gone (forever?) they will soon have to realise that their overheads far outweigh the business that each branch can bring in.

And as a lot of the mortgages do turn into loans that aren't being serviced, and they can't recover all of the debt on repossession, they will find out just how deep they are in the mire.

With Spanish unemployment at 16% and possibly heading for 20%, how do the banks think that all these Spanish people are going to pay their own mortgages?

I'm sorry to say that Spain has it's head up it's own arse, and has for a long time now. They initially claimed to be unaffected by the credit-crunch, when in fact it seems we could be looking at the longest and deepest recession in Europe, right here in sunny Spain.

At least the weather's good and the beaches and sunshine are free !

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