The debts suffered by the banks BCP and CGD in 2012 contributed to the overall negative results in the Portuguese banking sector, which showed a combined loss of more than €1 billion among the country’s five major banks.
While Santander Totta, BES and BPI reported positive results, BCP and CGD banks closed 2012 in the red.
Combining the figures, these five banks, the biggest operating in Portugal, lost a total of € 1.018 billion, an improvement on 2011’s overall reported loss of €1.6 billion.
Each of them lost on average €200.3 million in the past year.
Meanwhile, Banif reported a loss of €576 million for the year.
The worst results in 2012were with BCP, which registered a loss of €1.22 billion (the bank’s biggest annual loss ever), following a deficit of €849 million in 2011.
Millennium also said it was in talks to sell its loss-making Greek unit to Greece’s Piraeus Bank, and denied media reports that the European Competition Authority was pressing for a sale of its Polish unit as one of the “remedies” for taking state support.
Also in negative straits was CGD with losses to the tune of €395 million, an improvement on the previous year when a €488.4 million loss was recorded.
Offsetting this downward trend, BPI registered a €249.1 million profit in 2012 compared to a negative figure of €284.9 million the previous year. This proved to be the best result of the institution run by Fernando Ulrich since 2007.
BESprofits climbed to €96.1 million compared with the losses of €108.8 million it suffered in 2011. The bank said it was looking at a possible acquisition of Banco Galiza in Spain.
Santander Totta showed a profit of €250.2 million, almost four times higher than in 2011 (see box).
All of the main banks stressed that their businesses were underpinned largely with international operations, while Portugal remains on the road to recovery. Source: BPCC
Bank profits rise by more than 200%
Santander Totta’s profits rose by over 200% in 2012, in comparison to the previous year.
The bank that is headed by António Vieira Monteiro recorded profits to the tune of €250 million last year, while in 2011 the figure stood at €63.9 million.
Bank deposits increased by 8.5% while credit was down 3.5%.
Vieira Monteiro highlighted that cost-cutting by 9.5% reflected the results.
Last year, Santander Totta reduced its workforce by 120 and closed around 30 branches; this year it plans a cutback of 90 workers and the closure of up to 20 agencies.