The strong rhythm of the granting of consumer credit to Spanish families has triggered alarm premiums in the financial sector. The governor of the Bank of Spain, Pablo Hernández de Cos, urged last week the group of entities to monitor the conditions of financing of consumption because, although it only accounts for 5% of the total loans granted, they tend to lead to greater delinquency and be, therefore, source of potential losses. Caixabank assumes this message and also calls for the adoption of prudence.
"What the governor says is that we are very careful in the granting of credits and he is right. We have a market situation in which the entities are very liquid, because of the ECB's facilities and because the credit continues to fall, "Caixabank CEO Gonzalo Gortázar said on Wednesday during a lecture at the University of Deusto on the occasion of of the tenth anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers.
The banker has thus referred to the possible incentive that financial institutions may have to open the tap of credit without restraint in order to improve their profitability in a time of great liquidity and in which the central bank penalizes retaining the cash. And is that the credit to cosumo guarantees average interest of 8.5%, well above the average price of a mortgage, more than 2%. Yes, the consumer credit, which last year already exceeded 29,000 million euros in new loans and this 2018, in just eight months, close to 23,000 million, usually withstood higher delinquency rates.
"We must keep a cool head to think that the income statement for the coming quarter is important, but we must think in the long term," insisted Gortázar, who said that the financial system has managed to repair the most urgent problems arising from the last crisis, "at the same time other challenges of great relevance and depth have arisen and have taken shape".
Challenges of the sector
«We still have pending tasks and we have to finish them. A healthy financial system is needed and with the confidence of society for economic development. You have to finish and turn the page », he warned. In particular, the number two of Caixabank has referred to the digitalization and, on the other hand, to the recovery of the reputation lost in the last decade. "We must continue to improve on many factors such as transparency and simplicity and we must continue explaining the commitment we have. We have committed ourselves to solve it and we do not know how long it will take, but we do know that, keeping the course, each day is a little less, "he said.