Banco Santander profits plunge 98 per cent


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The Independent Online

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.