Spanish banks' bad loan ratio rises to 7.16%: official data
Doubtful or non-performing loans as a proportion of total lending at Spanish banks rose in September to 7.16 percent, the highest level since 1995, the Bank of Spain said on Friday.
Bank loans whose recovery is in doubt amounted to 128.1 billion euros ($172.6 billion) in September, the central bank said in a report, as an unemployment rate of 21.52 percent made it harder for borrowers to repay loans.
The bad loan ratio stood at 7.14 percent in August, 6.94 percent in July and 6.69 percent in June.
Bad loans at Spanish lenders, especially its regional savings banks which account for half of all lending, have risen steadily since the collapse of the property sector at the end of 2008.
The bad loan ratio at Spanish banks stood at 3.37 percent at the end of 2008.
The Spanish economy slumped into recession during the second half of 2008 as the global financial meltdown compounded the collapse of a labour-intensive property bubble. It stabilised in 2010 but growth remains anaemic.
Economic growth ground to a halt in the third quarter after posting only timid gains in the first two quarters of 2011.
© 2011 AFP