BBVA fills a hole – now it’s Santander’s turn
Selling its US bank to PNC fixes BBVA’s capital problem and allows it to consolidate in Spain. Arch-rival Santander’s similar troubles may be harder to solve.
The €9.7 billion sale to PNC Financial Services of BBVA USA Bancshares has come not a minute too soon for BBVA, with it being one of the European banks hardest hit by Covid-19.
Although BBVA would never admit its financial position was weak, and indeed the buffer on top of its minimum requirement was already relatively high, investors simply didn’t believe that this was enough.
Before the uplift on Monday’s PNC news, its share price had fallen about 50% this year – even further than other European banks.
BBVA’s capital ratio, like that of fellow Spanish bank Santander, has long been relatively low.