What would a disorderly bank collapse in Spain and Italy have done?
New information has revealed just how serious a threat a disorderly collapse of Spain’s sixth largest bank, Banco Popular, might have posed to Spain’s banking system. In its final days, Popular was bleeding deposits at a rate of €2 billion a day on average.
Between the end of March and its last day of trading, Popular shed €18 billion of deposits, roughly a quarter of the total. On the night of June 6, Europe’s Single Supervisory Mechanism decided that the bank could no longer cover its collateral. Popular, warts and all (take note, Italy), was sold for the meager sum of €1 to Banco Santander, though Santander will have to raise €7 billion of fresh capital to fully digest the bad stuff on Popular’s books.
According to the newly published report, the run on deposits did not end with Santander’s shotgun takeover of the bank. The day after the operation — a Wednesday — the money kept pouring out. The same happened on Thursday. On Friday, the deluge slowed a little. By Monday, the tide had finally turned, industry sources say. On that day, for the first time in a long time, Popular’s accounts witnessed more deposits than withdrawals.
To prevent a complete collapse of Popular, Santander had to inject €13 billion of its own funds into the bank’s accounts — one of the biggest one-off transfers of funds in recent Spanish history…