Spanish banks top list of European solvent banks

The Santander Bank and BBVA lead the lastest ranking of top solvent European banks

Yesterday the Spanish government said that Santander bank and BBVA were at the top of a list of solvent European banks following an investigation into the solvency of 30 banks carried out by the European Banking Supervisory Committee.

Although the type of tests the banks were subjected to will not be published until July the information was released following a bilateral meeting between the Spanish President, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron in Brussels.

This week the President of BBVA, Francisco González, called for more transparency in European banking. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also said that the publication of the results of the European Banking Supervisory Committee should help restore confidence in European markets. The type of testing carried out on the banks investigated whether the banks could survive in negative market conditions.

The first round of tests was carried out in 2009. However, the results were not published although a statement was made saying the European banking sector was resistant to the crisis.

Yesterday Emilio Botín, the Chairman of Santander, said that the results were very good news. He said that Santander was the first European bank in terms of capital and profits and now he was very pleased that it was the top of the list of solvent European banks.

The third Vice-Chairman of Santander bank, Matías Rodríguez Inciarte, said that the results were a test of the strength of banking and would help normalize the markets. He also stressed that ‘transparency was fundamental’ in order to recover normality.

Santander bank also defended the European banking system as a whole saying that there were no solvency problems in the European banking system.

Inciarte said that he believed that tension in the markets was purely ‘circumstantial’. He also pointed out that the European Central Bank had the capacity to provide liquidity to banks in the Eurozone.