Oxfam Intermón denounces that the 10% of the richest Spaniards monopolize 53.8% of the national wealth

The wealth of the five richest men in the world has grown by 114% since 2020, to 793,818 million euros.

Oxfam Intermón denounces that the 10% of the richest Spaniards monopolize 53.8% of the national wealth

The wealth of the five richest men in the world has grown by 114% since 2020, to 793,818 million euros


Oxfam Intermón has denounced this Monday that 53.8% of the value of wealth in Spain was concentrated in 2022 in the hands of 10% of the population, and 22.4%, in those of the richest 1%, while The 50% of the poorest households barely accounted for 7.8% of the national total and saw their average net wealth reduced, as stated by the NGO in its report 'Desigualdad S.A., Subsidiary in Spain'.

The document highlights that, in the last 20 years, the gap between a family in the poorest 50% and another in the wealthiest 10% has doubled. These dynamics would have occurred, the organization explains, due to the growing percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) represented by capital income, concentrated in a few people, compared to labor income.

To this trend we must add the evolution of financial wealth, since the weight of financial assets over gross wealth has almost doubled over the last 20 years, and 79.2% of their value is in the hands of the 10% of the wealthiest people.

Among these, Oxfam Intermón has indicated that nearly half of the 50 large Spanish companies have a "significant" connection with the wealthiest 1% through ownership of said companies or through their presence in their management bodies, which " exacerbates inequality."

The document states that there is a "broad concentration" in some sectors, as in the case of the electricity sector, with Iberdrola, Endesa, Naturgy and Repsol accounting for 86.1% of the market share. Repsol and Cepsa alone have 4,800 service stations, almost half of the national distribution of fossil fuels. Similarly, only Santander, BBVA and Caixabank accounted for 63% of banking assets.

These concentrations would take the form of "behavior contrary to the interests of the majority" due to price manipulation, anti-competitive practices or, in the case of financial entities, the refusal to remunerate deposits in line with the rise in interest rates of the European Central Bank (ECB). The only beneficiaries would be the shareholders and senior executives of the companies, whom Oxfam Intermón describes as a "privileged minority."

"The data shows us a disproportionate distribution with energy companies and banks registering growing profits, translated into million-dollar compensation to shareholders and senior executives, while 14 million people in our country see how their mortgage costs have increased and 17.1% of people couldn't afford to keep their houses warm," said the general director of Oxfam Intermón, Franc Cortada.

Despite the 16% increase in profits, these large companies barely created 0.1% more jobs in 2022, in parallel with an increase in the average salaries of board members of 19% and a revaluation of the average salary of its workers of 8%. On average, it would take a rank-and-file employee 91 years to earn what a top executive earns in a single year.

On the other hand, gender inequality persists in these companies, with women earning 15% less than men on average. Likewise, the path of reducing presence in fiscal 'dens' and other opaque jurisdictions in tax matters was reversed in 2022, and the environmental effort continued to be "excessively slow and very unequal."

In light of this phenomenon, the NGO has demanded that the Government create a "more equitable" country through the "drastic" redistribution of power from the main fortunes and large companies to the rest of the population and through the "effective reinvention" of the private sector as an actor that contributes to the common good and "not to generating increasing wealth for a few."

Despite the strong impact of inflation, the combined wealth of the five richest men in the world has more than doubled (114%) since 2020, going from $405 billion (369,961 million euros) to $869 billion ( 793,818 million euros). That is, about 14 million dollars (12.8 million euros) per hour, according to the global edition of the 'Desigualdad, S.A.' study.

At the same time, the wealth accumulated by the poorest 60%, almost five billion people, has decreased. If this continues, the world would have its first billionaire within a decade, although poverty would not be eradicated for another 229 years.

"This inequality is no coincidence; billionaires ensure that large companies generate more wealth at the expense of the rest of the population. And we are normalizing it," Cortada warned.

148 of the largest companies in the world obtained joint net profits of 1.8 trillion dollars (1,644 million euros) in the twelve months prior to June 2023, an increase of 52% compared to the average of their net profits between 2018 and 2021. The extraordinary profits of these companies reached nearly 700,000 million dollars (639,439 million euros).

The report has also revealed that for every $100 (91.35 euros) of profits generated by 96 large companies between July 2022 and June 2023, $82 (74.91 euros) ended up in the hands of shareholders.

Finally, despite representing only 21% of the world's population, the rich countries of the global North owned 69% of the world's wealth, and concentrated 74% of the world's billionaire wealth. Likewise, the richest 1% held 43% of global financial assets. This 1% had 48% of the financial wealth in the Middle East, 50% in Asia and 47% in Europe.