Banks take extreme precautions with mortgages in the face of economic turmoil




This year should be the year of recovery, but not total. In fact, they still plan on Spain multitude of turbulence; the latter, skyrocketing inflation and an electricity price that breaks records every week. The doubts about the Spanish economy do not end up being cleared up and, in view of this, the banking sector is prudent, both on its own initiative and externally, in granting new mortgages.

Home loans in the first half of this year have exceeded in just over 20,000 to those signed in 2020. The reason: that in the worst of the crisis, the sector was quite stopped by Covid. In the heat of the return to activity, mortgages have been reactivated and banks have also been taking extreme precautions, at times.

One of those moments is this before the seismic movements with inflation and light, as confirmed by financial sources and also recognized by Agencia Negociadora, a fintech dedicated to mortgage intermediation. From this company, they emphasize that economic turmoil is both a cause and an effect: «They set off alerts in the risk analysis departments of financial institutions, especially in relation to the granting of mortgages. Banks tighten conditions and today it is more difficult than yesterday to get a mortgage».

“The most worrying thing are the signs that anticipate an increase in general bank delinquency which, although it remains stable, heralds a storm surge in the short term, according to the Bank of Spain, which has identified the first signs of a potential deterioration in the credit quality of the loans, “they explain from the Negotiating Agency. The truth is that bank delinquency is less than 5%, when in the financial crisis more than doubled. Although, as in all recessions, bad loans do not show up early. «Another sign of overheating of doubtful credit is the data of requests for credit grouping operations, which has grown by 11% until September, according to data from the Negotiating Agency, which represents a total of 18,631 requests in 2021, compared to 16,785 2020 », they add in the aforementioned fintech.

Banks are now once again taking extreme precautions in their risk departments, but that does not mean that concessions are going down, but that conditions may be worse.

In this sense, in certain cases it is chosen not to give the same interest rates to all clients, or the same percentage with respect to the appraisal of the property or that a greater link is required. Worse or extra conditions to grant a mortgage, which in some cases makes it difficult to access a home loan.

Beyond this, for banks currently the type of employment relationship with the company, seniority, indefinite … Here, the groups that have traditionally won are those that have greater job stability, and in Spain that is essential. equates to those who count with a fixed position of civil servant in the Administration.

Together with all this, banking sources emphasize that financial institutions also have the ‘obligation’ to be responsible in their credit operations, to also avoid credit bubbles like the one that was generated in the previous crisis. “The real estate credit law of 2019 strengthened the role of banks with regard to customer protection and imposed clear obligations on them in granting mortgage financing. The financing of banks must be transparent and also responsible in an environment of high economic uncertainty such as the current one, ”these sources explain.

The trend is that as long as the economic recovery is not a totally solid reality, the banking system will not be able to relax. Also largely because the Bank of Spain it demands it; The institution has repeatedly asked the sector for prudence with the new loan, but especially when anticipating what could become doubtful. In short, calculate the provisions well.

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