Whilst the banks in Spain’s treasury and investment arms were not actively involved in the sub-prime market, they have not managed to stay completely without issues.
Falling pound and high interest rates which many people are still tied into until their next annual review has meant the delinquency rate on their existing mortgage books has risen significantly particularly in the non resident market.
The Spanish banks like all banks are suffering also from liquidity issues with savers leaving in their droves and the banks unable to borrow on the money markets at a price that makes lending profitable.
Banco Popular group which includes Banco de Andalucia is in big trouble with the Spanish government asking BBVA to intervene and take it over. Rumour has it BBVA have stated they are not interested in doing so and have enough problems of their own.
Caja Madrid, and Ibercaja were down graded by Standard and Poor last week and the Sabadell group which includes Sol Bank is apparently up for sale.
Leeds and Holbeck who provide loans for non-residents buying in Spain has warned all brokers it is about to put up its margins above Euribor. Leeds and Holbeck track the 3 month Euribor which has dropped very low giving the bank an opportunity to increase for the second time in 6 months their margins above on all their products.
RBS/Nat West has great rates now with the standard tracker coming in at 2.56%. For those only requiring 50% of purchase price who don’t mind paying the banks extra set up costs for legal services this is very good value.
GE previously active in Spain has disappeared without trace monthly marketing information sent regularly for the last 3 years has dried up completely.
Halifax remains in the doldrums with no budget for lending it is hoped that when the integration of Lloyds Spain ad Halifax finalises in April they may become more active again.
The portfolio of lenders available in Spain decreases daily despite some brokers pretending otherwise.