Banco Santander Doing Its Best Impression Of A Non-Spanish Bank

And just when Brian Moynihan was gonna make siestas a thing.
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By Eduardo P (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Eduardo P (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s not often one gets to say nice things about banks from the Mediterranean basin. Usually, it’s all about bad loans and bad bailouts and bad banks and really bad ideas and enforced vacations from banking and long lines at ATMs and very angry Germans. So allow us to take the opportunity to congratulate Banco Santander on being as un-Spanish as possible for a Spanish bank.

Hell, Santander’s a better bet right now than Deutsche Bank, and you know what Deutsche means.

That number is the Spanish lender’s proportion of bad loans to total loans, which at the end of 2016 fell back below 4% for the first time since the end of 2011….

Santander is doing this while growth in fee incomes is improving toward its 10% a year target, important while interest rates in many big markets remain low. The more this continues, the more investor faith will be rewarded.

Oh yea, and did we mention that it managed to do this while doing half of its business in places like Brazil, Mexico and Brexit, er, Britain?

“We expect to continue to do well in Mexico despite a more challenging environment,” Ms. Botín told analysts during a fourth-quarter earnings presentation….

Ms. Botín said on Wednesday the bank didn’t plan to revise its U.K. targets downward again. The bank expects growth in secured and commercial lending, she added….

In Brazil, which also accounts for a fifth of Santander’s earnings, net profit rose 61% to €510 million.

Santander: A Bank That Knows How to Get Past Bad Loan Problems [WSJ]
Santander’s Botín Remains Optimistic About Mexico, U.K. Despite Uncertainty [WSJ]

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Spain, as you may have heard, does not have a lot going for it at the moment. Its bond yields have crossed 7 percent, unemployment is at something like 70 percent, and on Monday, it announced a rather poorly received bailout of the country's banks. Investors don't want to touch their financial institutions with a 100 foot pole. One bank that knew this rejection all too well? Banco Santander, probably on account of the open sores. Today, though, that's all about to change.