The large banks of the Ibex 35 recorded, at the end of 2023, 70,978 million euros in doubtful loans, which translates into 2.3% more than in 2022 and an average default ratio of 2.99%, according to the accounts. published in recent weeks and which have been consulted by Europa Press.

In this way, the average doubtful ratio of the entities (Santander, BBVA, CaixaBank, Sabadell, Bankinter and Unicaja) stands at 2.99%, slightly below the delinquency rate prepared by the Bank of Spain, located at 3.45% in November. It should be noted, however, that the data collected includes the international businesses of these banks, and that the situation varies depending on the entity.

If credits under special surveillance are also taken into account, the main Spanish entities closed 2023 with a portfolio of problematic assets of 241,872 million euros, 7.4% more than in 2022.

By entities, and accounting for the international business, Santander is the entity with the highest volume of doubtful loans, up to nearly 36,000 million, which implies 2.8% more than in 2022, due to the increase in these loans in the United Kingdom, the United States and Mexico, although they were “somewhat offset” by the declines in Spain, Portugal and Brazil.

In this way, the Santander Group’s default rate stood at 3.14%, six basis points above the ratio recorded at the end of 2022.

For this reason, the entity chaired by Ana Botín increased provisions for bad debts by 19% year-on-year in 2023, up to 12,458 million euros, mainly from the United States, Digital Consumer Bank, Mexico and Poland. However, the bad debt fund remained practically stable at €23.49 billion, while the coverage ratio decreased slightly to 66%.

For its part, BBVA’s doubtful balance increased by 5.8% (7.7% more at constant exchange rates), to 15,305 million euros, concentrated in the retail portfolios of South America, Mexico, Spain , and to a lesser extent in the rest of the businesses, affected by the entry of unique clients.

In this way, the entity’s default rate increased as of December 31, 2023 to 3.4%, which represents an increase of seven basis points compared to the previous quarter, although the evolution has been “stable” in the last twelve months, as well as the insolvency fund, which closed 2023 at 11,762 million euros. However, the coverage rate was reduced during the year, from 81% at the end of 2022 to 77% at the end of last year.

In the case of CaixaBank, doubtful balances stand at 10,516 million euros, which represents a reduction of 175 million euros in the year in absolute terms, and 1.6% in relative terms, thanks to “active management “of late payment.

However, in its annual report, the bank points out that in the fourth quarter there was an increase of 315 million euros impacted by the incorporation of certain additional criteria for identifying doubtful accounting, but it rules out that there have been deteriorations in the evolution ” organic” of these exhibitions.

Thus, the bad debt ratio remained stable at 2.7% compared to the end of 2022, while bad debt funds stood at 7,665 million euros, with a coverage ratio of 73%, slightly below 74%. % reported in December 2022.

As for Sabadell, its annual accounts reflect a reduction of 114 million euros in doubtful loans, or in other words, 0.6%, to 5,777 million euros.

The non-performing loan ratio stood at 3.5% at the end of the year, thus increasing by eleven basis points in the year, affected by the “lower investment volume”, but reducing by two basis points in the quarter.

The entity’s insolvency fund closed 2023 at 3,199 million euros, 5.9% above the level registered in December 2022, although the coverage of problematic loans stood at 55.6%, a figure higher than the 52.3% that was registered at the end of 2022.

At the end of 2023, Bankinter recorded 1,812 million euros in doubtful loans, 4.51% more than in December 2022, when it reported a portfolio of 1,734 million euros in non-performing loans.

In this way, the delinquency ratio remained stable at 2.11%, compared to the 2.10% recorded at the end of 2022. In addition, for these loans, the entity had provisions of 918 million euros, a 5.85% more than in 2022.

Finally, in the case of Unicaja, the portfolio of doubtful loans totaled 1,568 million euros, 19.1% less than at the end of 2022 in relative terms and about 370 million euros less in absolute terms.

In this regard, the bank explains that the volume of doubtful entries in 2023 was 14% lower than that observed the previous year, and more than half corresponded to doubtful accounts without defaults or with defaults of less than 90 days.

“The expiration and end of grace periods of credits guaranteed by the ICO have not deteriorated the default ratio of the business segment and, on the other hand, the recourse of individuals to the Code of Good Banking Practices has been very limited” , he adds.

Thus, the default rate was reduced by 25 basis points in the quarter, to 3.14%, and the coverage rate stood at 63.7%.