Jul 29, 2020

Santander and Barclays: coronavirus loan loss leaders

Banco Santander and Barclays have shown how to do both in a peak week for coronavirus-inflected European bank earnings. At Santander, the total is an incredible €19.6bn. Barclays took a charge of £3.7bn. Shares in both fell 3.5 per cent in morning trading. Santander UK, created through the acquisition of former building societies in the noughties, has failed to join the top tier of the UK's retail banking oligopoly. The bank's €12.6bn in goodwill and tax asset impairments do not damage capital, despite propelling Santander to a €6.4bn pre-tax loss. A loan loss provision of €7bn is equivalent to 1.5 per cent of the credit portfolio on an annualised basis.

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