“Bail-In” Era for Europe’s Banking Crisis Begins

Many Banco Popular investors wiped out. Taxpayers off the hook. What it means for Italy.

Banco Popular, until today Spain’s sixth biggest bank, is no more. Its assets, including a massive portfolio of small-business clients, now belong to Banco Santander, Spain’s biggest bank. The global giant now has 17 million customers in Spain, a country of just 45 million people. The price was €1.

Spain’s Ministry of the Economy revealed that by 3 pm Tuesday, Popular was no longer able to contain the deposit outflow. “It had exhausted all its lines of liquidity, both ordinary and extraordinary.” It had run out of collateral to cover any further lines of emergency liquidity.

This apparently triggered the intervention by the ECB’s Single Resolution Board (SRB), which decided on Tuesday that the bank “was failing or likely to fail” and would have to be wound down, unless a buyer could be found.

Banco Popular’s shareholders, who’d been repeatedly suckered into handing Popular fresh funds in numerous capital expansions, will be wiped out.

Holders of Popular’s riskiest bonds, its AT1 bonds and AT2 bonds, or CoCo bonds, also got wiped out

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