The First Vice President and Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, continues to pressure banks to increase the remuneration of deposits. What a few days ago were statements, this Thursday has already been a commission to the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) and the Bank of Spain to identify if there are factors that are preventing the large Spanish banks from remunerating deposits to retail customers. Specifically, it asks them to analyze “if there are possible factors linked to the structure and functioning of the market that would be affecting the incentives of the entities for the remuneration of deposits”.
Calviño even specified that it is about expanding the mandate that the CNMC and the Bank of Spain already have to verify that they do not transfer the extra tax on banks to end customers, so that they also analyze if there is any factor that is limiting effective competition and leading “to this delay in the remuneration of deposits.” Because the vice-president’s starting point is that Spanish financial institutions are transferring increases in interest rates more slowly than in the past and in neighboring countries to the remuneration of deposits. She has also added that she will examine whether any legislative change is required to encourage these remunerations, although this would logically remain for another legislature.
Calviño announced this after the meeting he held this Thursday with the banking associations AEB, CECA and Unac, the Bank of Spain, the user and elderly associations, Asufin and PMP, and also with Carlos San Juan, the promoter of the famous campaign “I’m older, not an idiot”
The sector’s first response to Calviño’s proposal came from the president of the AEB, Alejandra Kindelán, who stated that “there is not a competition problem in Spain, but that there is a lot of competition and at all levels”, further arguing that there is great liquidity in Spanish banks. Which is one of the reasons given to argue why banks do not need to encourage the search for deposits.
On the other hand, Calviño has also reported that around 33,000 requests for adherence to the codes of good practice that the Government agreed with the banks in November 2022 have been received to alleviate the impact of the Euribor rise on vulnerable families and with variable rate mortgages.
It has also indicated that the free conversion of mortgages from variable to fixed rates and the early repayment of the loan are being widely used, two operations that are free throughout 2023.