The long road ahead
Banks in Europe face a bleak choice. They can redouble cost cutting and capture the move to digital. They can also top up capital with AT1s, for which there is still a bid. But as the acute phase of the crisis now approaches and loan losses rise, banks’ fabled capital strength faces a stern test
October in the European capital markets began with CaixaBank offering €750 million in perpetual, non-cumulative, contingent convertible additional tier-1 (AT1) preferred securities.
The bank wanted to optimize its capital structure and strengthen its leverage ratio.
With investors still pondering the implications of its cost-cutting merger with Bankia, this was a test of their appetite amid continuing uncertainty over the losses that large Spanish banks – and other European lenders – will eventually suffer from the deep Covid recession.