Spanish banks: the collapse of the property market and the euro crisis

Jos Deuling,  Friday, 17 August 2012

The three big banks in Spain, Santander Group, BBVA and La Caixa are less affected by the Spanish banking crisis. This is because they also operate internationally and are less dependent on the poor economic situation in Spain. Banks that operate exclusively on the Spanish market have more problems. The Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo (CAM) went bankrupt e.g. This bankruptcy threatens the savings of many foreign retirees on the Costa Blanca. They may lose their money. So you have to be careful if you need a Spanish mortgage or if you want to deposit your savings in a Spanish bank.

On this page, you will find information about 19 different Spanish banks. In alphabetical order. The information comes from newspaper sites and sites like Wikipedia. I have also added a link to the website of each bank.

Banca March

came in July 2010 in the first place in a stress test of the European Union. The bank operates primarily in the Balearic and Canary islands.

More info at

BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria)

is the second largest bank in Spain. The bank is engaged in an international expansion and is currently active in 40 countries. In early May 2012, BBVA has 1.8 billion euros provision for risky loans in the real estate sector.

BBVA in the press :
(, Tuesday 31 July 2012)

More info at

Banco Caixa Geral

. I haven’t found much information about this bank except that it is part of Portugal's largest bank, Caixa Geral de Depósitos. The Portuguese government is the owner of Caixa Geral de Depósitos.

More info at

Banco de Valencia

is also a victim of the collapse of the Spanish housing market. In November 2011, the bank was taken over by the Spanish government. More info on the reasons for the takeover can be found here

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Banco Etcheverría

is the oldest bank in Spain. The bank operates in all 4 provinces of .

More info at

Banco Popular Español

is the fourth largest bank in Spain. In May 2012, the long-term credit rating of the bank was downgraded to junk status : .

Banco Popular in the press :
(, Friday 27 July, 2012)

More info on Banco Popular at

Banco Sabadell

is the fourth largest bank in Spain. She bought early this year for a symbolic amount the bankrupt Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo (CAM). Thousands of Dutch, German and British pensioners on the Costa Blanca had placed their savings in the CAM.

More info on Banco Sabadell at


. Banco Santander is 88.4% owner of Banesto. Banesto is best known as sponsor of the cycling team of Indurain.

Banesto in the press :
(, Friday 27 July, 2012)

More info on Banesto at


didn’t meet the requirements of the European banking authority EBA and had to ask for a bailout :.

Bankia in the press :
(, Wednesday 15 August, 2012)

More info on Bankia at


is the 5th largest bank in Spain. Credit Agricole, the largest banking group in France, has a 20% stake in Bankinter.

More info onBankinter at

Caja General de Ahorros de Canarias

is the largest bank in the Canary Islands with more than 200 branches.

More info at

Caja Laboral

is a bank from the Spanish Basque Country.

More info on Caja Laboral at

Caja Murcia

is the main bank in the Murcia region .

More info on Caja Laboral at


is the fourth largest savings bank in Spain and the largest bank in Catalonia. This year, the bank needed a capital injection from the Spanish government.

Very concise info at


is a savings bank for the San Sebastián and Gipuzkoa regions.

More info at

La Caixa

is the largest savings bank in Europe and is the third largest financial institution in Spain with more than 5000 branches and more than 10 million customers.

More info at


is a savings bank from Galicia.

More info at

Santander Group

. Considering the market value, the Santander Group is the largest bank in the Eurozone and one of the largest banks in the world. Santander Group is an international bank rather than a Spanish bank.

Comprehensive information at


operates primarily in the south of Spain.

More info at

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