Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Business News

Banco Santander profits plunge 98 per cent


Spain's Banco Santander saw its profit plunge 98% in the fourth quarter after the bank took a 1.8 billion euro (£1.5 billion) charge to protect its Spanish property portfolio, and set aside cash to cover bad loans.

Europe's largest bank by market capitalisation said today that it earned 47 million euros (£39.4 million) for the quarter that ended in December, down from 2.1 billion euros (£1.8 billion) in the same period a year earlier.

Without the provision, the bank said it would have made a profit of 1.7 billion euros (£1.4 billion)in the fourth quarter.

Revenue for the quarter came in at 11 billion euros (£9.2 billion), up from 10.6 billion euros (£8.9 billion) a year earlier.

Loans were up 4% for all of 2011 as Banco Santander boosted business in Latin America which helped buffer decreasing European operations.