The CEO of Caixabank, Gonzalo Gortázar, has shown confidence in the resistance of the economy despite the opening of a period of political uncertainty after the result of the last general elections held on July 23. “We have to normalize a situation that we cannot not like,” Gortázar insisted that he recalled that in the past, with similar situations, such as 2016 and 2019, the Spanish economy grew.
During the press conference after the presentation of the semi-annual results, where the bank has obtained a profit in euros, which represents an improvement of 35.8% more than a year ago, Gortázar, when asked by journalists, indicated that “it is not It touches me to go in in political questions”, but yes that it has done a revision on the decisions that yes it would have to take to economic level. “We have higher growth than the European Union and lower inflation, so it must be a priority to maintain this positive growth.” In this regard, European funds, Next Generation, will help to achieve this. Gortázar believes that it should improve productivity and carry out structural reforms.
Regarding the extraordinary tax on the sector and the fear that it will become permanent due to the presentation of very bulky results, Gortázar has registered that the tax rate paid by the bank is 40%. He has also insisted that the results are the result of the normalization of interest rates and the banks will not have to be penalized. “The banks continue to have low profitability and the results come from the recovery of interest rates. An economically healthy country must have a strong profitable bank,” he pointed out. The banker has called for a “serene debate on the sector and on the tax” and has recorded that the tax on the sector is not articulated in accordance with the legal system.
Gortázar has also pointed out that the deficit and debt must be controlled to prevent the risk premium, which skyrocketed during the debt crisis, from remaining at low levels, especially now that it does not have the support of the ECB.
Euribor down and approaches the cost of capital
This strength of the economy that Gortázar pointed out at the beginning also explains the lower number of applications for adherence to the Code of Good Practices. In his opinion, the resistance of employment is behind the fact that citizens continue to pay their mortgages. A situation that Gortázar considers, since the rise of the Euribor will stop next year. “The Euribor will not reach 3.5% this year and from the second half of next year we will be seeing negative repricing of mortgages.”
Gortázar has ruled out reviewing the strategic plan, for now, and maintains the ROTE objectives above 12% for next year, a level that is already at 12%, even so, it is still far to cover the cost of capital, analysts place it at 11.5% and the market at 12.5%, while the bank’s ROE at the end of the semester was 10.8%. Gortázar has indicated that there is still a long way to go in the coming quarters because there is still a credit portfolio to be repriced.
Regarding the impact on the remuneration of the minimum reserves by the ECB, the CEO of Caixabank estimates that it will be 145 million euros, which will impact its financial margin.