The CEO avoids ruling out new you are and calls for the presentation of the strategic plan on May 28 to specify how it will reduce costs. The bank leaves behind the losses of the fourth quarter of 2020 but the result falls 22% compared to the first quarter of last year due to lower income.
González-Bueno assures that “there is nothing more regulated” than the salaries of bankers and that “it is not his responsibility” to assess whether they are justified.
The Sabadell won 73 million euros between January and March, bringing it back to record profits after losses of 201 million in the fourth quarter of last year.
The bank thus leaves behind a bad 2020 , in which it only earned two million (and thanks to the activation of rights to the lower payment of taxes) due to the 220 million losses of its British subsidiary TSB and the 2,275 million in provisions that it carried out to face future defaults due to the pandemic, finance you in Spain and the United Kingdom, and cover losses in the sale of portfolios of toxic assets. All in all, the first quarter result is 22.1% lower than a year earlier, since lower expenses and provisions did not compensate for the greater drop in income .
The new CEO , César González-Bueno , has assured that the entity has “room for improvement, especially in costs” in its private banking business in Spain . The announcement comes just a few months after the bank agreed in November with the unions to leave 1,800 workers in the country (11% of the workforce) , which was carried out in the first months of this year.
The manager has avoided ruling out new eres and has called for the presentation of the new strategic plan on May 28 to detail how he will cut expenses. However, the former head of ING in Spain has assured that “costs are a structural problem” in the financial sector due to the environment of “pressure on margins, pressure on prices” and less use of branches in favor of digital channels.
Like other bankers, González-Bueno has also avoided getting into the background of criticism from the economic vice president , Nadia Calviño, who has called his salaries “unacceptable” .
Thus, it has limited itself to stating that it “understands the sensitivity” of the Government on this matter, but to defend at the same time that “there is nothing more regulated than the salaries” of the banking leaders, since they are supervised by the Central Bank. European and approved by the boards of directors and shareholders’ meetings. “It is not up to me to say if we are worth them or not,” he added.
The executive has also assured that having taken office has confirmed him in the idea that Sabadell has a future for itself , after failing its merger negotiations with BBVA at the end of last year due to a disagreement in the price. “We look forward to continuing alone .
It is the very clear mandate of the board. Our results before provisions are very good, the risk on our balance sheet is in line with the sector, and we have a great team and a remarkable sales force. bases to build an enviable franchise “, has defended.
TSB comes out of losses
One of the good news for Sabadell between January and March is that the British TSB has abandoned the losses and for the first time since the first quarter of 2019 has registered profits: two million euros . González-Bueno has maintained that the subsidiary was the main one of the “most difficult things” that the bank had in hand and has assured that “the worst is behind” and that the British unit “begins a sweeter moment”.
This is what explains, he added, that the council has decided that “in the short term a sale process is not going to begin” neither of the TSB nor of the Mexican subsidiary.
The revenues of the Sabadell fell 10.3% to March by lower credit performance due to low interest rates and the lower contribution from the sale of debt portfolios. The costs fell much less , 1.9%, bringing the result before provisions fell more strongly than revenue, 22.3%.
The reduction in provisions was in line with this drop (21.9%), which explains the final decrease of 22.1% in profit. The bank, however, expects revenues to improve from the second quarter due to credit growth (4.2%), the maturity of expensive debt and the departure of workers from the last year. The default stood at 3.71% andequity at 11.96%, but profitability remains at a very low 1%.