Bad loans held by Spain’s banks fall in April

bank-greeneuropeanjournalBad loans held by Spanish banks fell for a third straight month in April to a total of 161.6 billion euros ($184.1 billion), the Bank of Spain said Thursday.

The new figures show bad loans on Spanish bank books dropped from 12.09 percent of total credit in March to 11.95 percent in April, with much of the troubled paper held by lenders most exposed to real estate markets like Bankia, which required a government rescue in 2012 to avoid bankruptcy.

Banks with more diversified and international activities like heavyweights Banco Santander and BBVA are less weighted down with bad loan risk, the figures showed.

Following the bursting of Spain’s real estate bubble burst in 2008, the volume of credit due to Spanish banks by clients unable to repay increased to dangerous levels, reaching to an all-time high of 13.6 percent in 2013.

Amid the resulting crisis, Spain’s eurozone partners agreed in June 2012 to provide up to 100 billion euros to rescue its crippled banking system, with Madrid ultimately accepting 40 billions in aid to help create a so-called bad bank to take the bad loans off commercial banks.

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