The 50 basis point rate hike planned for this year will boost the sector's interest margin by an average of 10%. CaixaBank and Unicaja, among the most benefited.
If the script is fulfilled, the bank will be freed this year, after eight years of crossing the desert, from the shackles of negative interest rates. A monetary anomaly that had never occurred before and that has gone directly to the waterline of financial institutions. Especially the Spanish, since 75% of the active mortgage portfolio, despite the recent preference for the fixed rate, is still linked to the 12-month Euribor.
This factor is what explains why the sensitivity of the profits of Spanish banks to the price of money is so high. In France, Germany and the Netherlands, the variable loan is a rarity. Fixed-rate mortgages account for between 80% and 90% of the total.
The president of the ECB, Christine Lagarde, has communicated this week to the market that there will be at least two rate hikes this year: one in July and another in September. Assuming that the deposit rate increases by 25 basis points on each occasion, the most moderate scenario, the measure will mean an extra injection of 1,786 million for the interest margin of the six banks listed in Spain. On average, it will cause an increase of 10% in the most important heading of the income statement of any entity and 18% in terms of gross profit, according to calculations by the investment bank Alantra.
The greatest beneficiary in relative terms will be CaixaBank, since 40% of its balance sheet is made up of mortgages and 73% are at variable rates. In his case, the interest margin would experience an increase of 643 million, 11% more. Gross profit, for its part, would increase by 19%.
The rate hike will also be a balm for Unicaja, the listed bank with the most mortgage profile in Spain and one of the least profitable. 58% of its portfolio are mortgages (67% linked to the Euribor) and 25%, loans to companies.
The change in monetary policy will be less impactful for Sabadell and Bankinter. The expected increase in interest margin will be 6% and 8%, respectively. Bankinter has a small mortgage portfolio (31,300 million) and, in Sabadell, practically half of its stock of loans for home purchase is at a fixed rate.
However, Sabadell's profits will pick up the positive impact of rates in line with the average, at 20%. The reason lies in its weak efficiency. A higher level of income, with constant costs, will cause a greater increase in profit than in the case of Bankinter (14%), to which exactly the opposite happens.
The incidence of rates on Santander Spain and BBVA Spain will be almost identical. Both will register increases of 10% in the interest margin and 16% of gross profit.
43% of bank corporate loans are variable rate and will also experience an increase as a result of the change in scenario.
The sector will stop penalizing the deposits of large companies with a rate. According to Alantra's calculations, the bank entered 511 million through this channel.
The sector's sovereign bond portfolio will increase its contribution, although the cost of financing will rise.