Bank reports record profits of $26 billion, unions escalate tensions


News Team

The main Spanish banks are set to release their 2023 results this week. Analysts estimate that the results will reach a record of nearly 26 billion, which is a 24% increase from the previous year. Despite the extraordinary tax approved by the government to tax part of bank income, banks such as Santander, BBVA, CaixaBank, Sabadell, Bankinter, and Unicaja Banco are expected to announce historic results, thanks to the rise in interest rates.

In response to these anticipated record profits, unions such as CCOO, UGT, and FINE have begun mobilizing and are demanding better salary conditions. They are asking for a salary increase of between 17 and 23% over three years. However, employers in the sector have not been receptive to these demands, leading to potential strikes and protests.

On January 25, Bankinter announced a record profit of 845 million euros, despite having paid 77 million at the beginning of the year for the extraordinary tax. BBVA is expected to announce profits of 7,835 million, a 22.04% increase from the previous year, partly due to the rise in interest rates. Santander is expected to announce a historic profit of 10,750 million, an 11.9% increase, on January 31. Sabadell and CaixaBank are also expected to reveal significant profit increases in the coming days.

The six main Spanish banks are projected to have earned a record figure of 25,916.5 million in 2023, a 24% increase from the previous year. This would set a new profit record for the sector, despite having paid 1,122 million for the extraordinary tax created by the government. The tax has been appealed by the sector, with individual banks such as CaixaBank, BBVA, Santander, Sabadell, Bankinter, and Unicaja Banco paying significant amounts.

It’s important to note that the six groups that make up today’s large banks have increased their size through the absorption of other entities. This includes Banco Santander’s integration of Banco Popular, BBVA’s takeover of Unnim and Catalunya Banc, CaixaBank’s incorporation of Banca CĂ­vica, Banco de Valencia, Bankia, and BMN, Sabadell’s acquisition of CAM, and Unicaja Banco’s inclusion of Liberbank.

Meanwhile, small savers are waiting for the supply of deposits to improve, although higher interest rates offered at the end of last year have contributed to families increasing their balances again. Deposits grew by 5.3 billion in November and 17.5 billion in December, totaling 22.8 billion in just two months. This has allowed the balance at the end of the year to once again touch one trillion euros, very close to the figure for the end of 2022.

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