Anna Putin responds to Yolanda Diaz’s proposal to freeze mortgages and shows her rejection of “measures that expel the most vulnerable”

Banco Santander’s president, Ana Botín, defended her entity’s willingness to negotiate with all governments, including the Spanish government, as well as to reach “balanced agreements”, but rejected measures whose conditions “expel the mortgage market from the most vulnerable”.

This came on Thursday during the presentation of the results of Bank Santander in 2022, with a record profit attributable to 9,605 million euros, an increase of 18%, thanks to strong growth in business activity, good asset quality, and cost control.

In this way, Putin answered questions about the measure proposed on Wednesday by the Second Vice President and Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Diaz, about the possibility of freezing variable rate mortgages given the high Euribor and registered benefits. in 2022 by the banking sector.

Putin indicated that his entity is linked to all the governments in which he works, out of responsibility and interest. “We will always have a working relationship, because cooperation is the best way we do for the country and for the shareholders,” he said, before recalling the agreements reached by the banks with the executive branch in recent years. Pedro Sanchez, like the loans secured by the ICO or the recent mortgage agreement for vulnerable or vulnerable families.

Nevertheless, Putin defended the strength of the Spanish mortgage market, which is “one of the most competitive markets in Europe,” with an average rate in December of 2.91%, compared to the Spanish 10-year bond yield, which stood at 3.5%, the difference in favor. Mortgages are 60 basis points, as are measures to help vulnerable families, such as the recent mortgage agreement signed with the government.

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“We have made a great effort since 2012 not to evict people from their homes. We have come to an agreement to help in this new phase, but I want to emphasize that a sustainable financial system is a profitable financial system. The Santander Group chief said that the best way to tackle unemployment in what we can do is to be prudent and profitable and make returns in Spain above the cost of capital, which we’re not done with.

In addition, it has been blamed on the “extraordinary” situation of low interest rates that occurred in the past six years, until the European Central Bank (ECB) started raising interest rates last July to curb inflation. “The biggest challenge for Spain and Europe is growth, without which there are no job opportunities and no social services,” he added.

Instead of savings

Regarding the return to the deposit bonus, Putin was sure that his entity would at some point recoup the savings, although the situation depended on competition. He noted that during negative interest rates, the European Central Bank (ECB) charged the banking sector a fee for funds held in entities, a cost that was not transferred to retail customers in Spain.

“The important thing is that if you want to have a country that is advancing and an economy that is growing, you have to be able to generate capital and a sustainable financial margin,” Putin stated at a press conference. However, in Spain, “the margins remain among the lowest, if not the lowest, in the entire group”.

On the other hand, Putin reiterated the bank’s intention to increase the “yield” above 40% “whenever possible,” as he had already mentioned in the presentation of the results for 2021. At that time, he left the door open for an increase of up to 50%.

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