Your environment will be more stressful.

Spain faces an uncertain economic scenario in the coming quarters, under the threat of recession. And this, the bank warns, will put even more pressure on citizens and businesses. Especially in small and medium enterprises, which are the areas of most concern.

Jose Antonio Alvarez, CEO, Inc Santande BanksFocus on how the economic slowdown can lead to tensions in small and medium-sized businesses. “In markets like Spain, the most sensitive challenge we face is the entire SME world. I am not concerned about the individual part. If the economic forecasts materialize, some SMEs may experience a more stressful environment. If certain scenarios materialize, we must be ready to continue financing and controlling our balance sheet,” he explained at the 29th Financial Sector Meeting “Challenges and Opportunities for a Sector in Transformation”, organized by Deloitte and ABC in collaboration with the Sociedad de Tasacion.

Regarding this, Alvarez stressed that they have an obligation, despite the environment, to try to provide “certainty” for their interest groups. These are customers and shareholders … and they guarantee “continued solvency and the ability to continue financing.” “All this provides profitability to shareholders,” he added.

Gonzalo Gortazar, CEO of Caixabank

Saint Bernard

Gonzalo Gortazar, CEO caixabankHe spoke in similar terms when he warned about the impact of this inflation and energy crisis, with implications for consumption and investment, on economies like Spain. “Inflation affects everyone but also the cost base of entities. We have a second great source of uncertainty, which is the cost of risk. The question is how far will the economy slow? We still believe that in Spain we will not reach recession. He explained that it is not about our decline by 0.5%, but rather how long the situation will continue.

Thus, the CEO of an entity of Catalan origin indicated that they expect a “deterioration in the provisioning line in the coming quarters”, to which is added the new tax on banks, which will not help maintain the good tone of the sector. It was showing and it will affect its sales volume and profits this year and next year, as expected.

Overall, Alvarez sent a calming message to the public: “I think it is important for the system to say that although profitability is low or limited in SpainFrom the point of view of endurance and strength, the situation is good. We will keep the glass half full so that we can do our job well and minimize economic decline.

Uncertainty is the key

Onur Genç, CEO BBVAHe also referred to the current economic environment that developed economies are facing. The word that best defines the situation, for now, is “uncertainty,” although he noted that it is more convenient to distinguish between the short term and the long term.

In the short term, as you indicated, what prevails at the moment is the aforementioned uncertainty. why? Mainly, but not only, because Accelerated inflation experienced by Europe and the United States. “The uncertainty is about how much central banks will need to get inflation under control, and how quickly they can bring it down,” he said. However, this is also exacerbated by events damaging to the economy such as the war in Ukraine or the impact on growth that monetary policy may have.

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Economic situation

Uncertainty is about how much central banks will need to control inflation.

Honor Genk


In the face of the long term, Genç emphasized the challenges of “decarbonisation, digitalization, innovation…”, which are continuously reviewed in depth in BBVA to “create opportunities”. Besides all this, the CEO of an entity of Basque origin has influenced his commitment not only to clients and shareholders, but also to society as a whole. He also noted that BBVA aims to channel up to €300,000m into sustainable business by 2025, among other milestones, underlining that green finance is a place where business needs to be.

Tax criticism

The government will impose a new tax on the financial sector before the end of the year, taxing the margins of its purest business such as commissions and interest. And this is despite frontal opposition from the European Central Bank, which issued a harsh opinion against the measure.

In this regard, stated Manuel Menendez, CEO of Unicaja Banco, who indicated that the justification given by the CEO that the sector will generate extraordinary profits that must be taxed does not continue. No taxpayer likes to see their taxes go up, which doesn’t mean we can’t gladly pay them and abide by regulations. Having said that, the issue of the new tax on banks: There is the fact that we went through very low interest rates, without covering the cost of capital… Now rates are back to normal, which is not implied certainly not that you get extraordinary benefits, but rather You are getting profitability from a company operating in a more normal mode,” he noted at the event.

Manuel Menendez, CEO, Unicaja Banco

Saint Bernard

The CEO of the entity, of Andalusian origin, also criticized the tax It runs on a basis that does not take into account all components of the income statement.That is, it takes into account that there is income, not costs, but also increases because “higher prices mean higher costs due to credit portfolio risks.”

Regarding the economic situation, Menendez followed up the theses of his fellow workers by pointing to the current high level of uncertainty. And realizing the impact of the economic downturn on your business. “The environment changes the expectations we had less than a year ago, with less economic growth, which will affect the demand for credit and less activity; Inflation will affect the savings capacity of households, although the system is highly liquid; And all of this will have an impact on our results.” However, he believes that in the case of mortgages, customer health remains good.

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