Spanish banks have a credit exposure of 660,320 million to highly polluting sectors

Kutxabank and BBVA have the greatest exposure to risks related to the extraction and distribution of fossil fuels, according to the Bank of Spain.

Spanish banks have a credit exposure of 660,320 million to highly polluting sectors

Kutxabank and BBVA have the greatest exposure to risks related to the extraction and distribution of fossil fuels, according to the Bank of Spain


80% of the credit exposure that Spanish banks have to climate transition risks is allocated to highly polluting sectors, which translates into a credit volume of 660,320 million euros, according to the Autumn Stability Report of the Bank of Spain .

The supervisor explains in its analysis that, for the first time, in the first half of 2023, European credit institutions have begun to publish information on their ESG risks in a standardized manner, using the prudential disclosure framework or Pillar 3 and following, by this, the templates and instructions included in the regulations of the European Union.

Regarding climate transition risks, entities have reported indicators for credit to companies, including loans, debt and variable income instruments, and for loans with real estate guarantees.

For non-financial corporations, entities must provide the amount of their exposures to highly polluting sectors, this concept encompassing a significant number of sectors with different volumes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including oil. , gas, mining and transportation.

Thus, in total, the Bank of Spain has analyzed 825,400 million euros of the banking exposure to these transition risks and has concluded that 660,320 million euros, that is, 80%, has been invested in companies belonging to sectors highly polluting.

It has also analyzed the exposure to companies that have excluded themselves from the 2016 Paris Agreement, essentially, sectors related to the extraction and distribution of fossil fuels. In this case, the amount of the exposure falls to 39,619 million euros, that is, 4.8% of the exposure analyzed.

The supervisor details the amounts analyzed by entity: thus, Santander has inspected 351,000 million euros in exposure to transition risks; from BBVA, 169.6 billion; from CaixaBank, 150,200 million; from Sabadell, 58.7 billion; from Bankinter; 31.4 billion; from Unicaja, 12.4 billion; from Abanca, 17.7 billion; from Kutxabank, 10.3 billion euros, from Cajamar, 15.8 billion; and from Ibercaja, 7.6 billion.

Kutxabank and BBVA are the entities most exposed to sectors excluded from the Paris Agreement, with 9.8% (representing around 1,000 million) and 8.3% (14,000 million) respectively of the volumes analyzed, according to the analysis of the Bank of Spain.

They are followed by CaixaBank (7.1% of its total exposures, representing 10.6 billion euros), Sabadell (4.1%, that is, 2.4 billion euros), Santander (3%, 10.5 billion euros), Abanca (2.9%, 513 million euros), Unicaja (1.8%, 223 million euros), Ibercaja (1.7%, 129 million euros), Bankinter (1.2%, 376 million euros ) and Cajamar (0.5%, 79 million euros).

On the other hand, it analyzes the transition risk associated with the collateral of loans secured by real estate, both residential and commercial), as well as the foreclosed portfolio. This risk is measured in terms of the energy efficiency of the collateral, for which the energy efficiency certificate of the property is used.

It is worth remembering, in this sense, that since 2013 it is mandatory to have the energy certificate to rent or sell the property, with exceptions such as garages, storage rooms or land and warehouses without offices.

In this sense, the Bank of Spain has analyzed a total investment of 631.4 billion euros. It points out that a high percentage of properties do not yet have an energy efficiency certificate.

Specifically, it points out that loans secured by residential properties represent 84% of the total, that is, 530.3 billion euros, and of this amount, 64% (339.4 billion euros) do not have the certificate. This percentage amounts to 81% (71.6 billion euros) for commercial mortgages, which represent 14% (88.3 billion) of the total loans in this portfolio.

For the collaterals that do have a certificate, in the residence portfolio the E label is "clearly the majority - on a scale from A to G -, with 20% of the total residential guarantees, that is, 106,000 million The best energy efficiency labels (A, B and C) represent 4% of total residential mortgages (21.2 billion euros).

In commercial properties, once again the majority letter is E, but "in this case the distance with other letters is not so significant," says the Bank of Spain. The best energy efficiency labels represent 8% of the total (7,000 million euros).