In March 2010, the government of Spain announced a change in private-sector financial support.



  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 0 liberalising
Inception date: 26 Mar 2010 | Removal date: open ended

Capital injection and equity stakes (including bailouts)

On 26 March 2010, Spain informed the EC about the involvement of FROB (Fondo de Restructuración Ordenada Bancaria) in the UNNIM banc. UNNIM is a merger of three saving banks, namely: Caixa d'Estalvis Manlleu, Caixa d' Estalvis Sabadell and Caixa d'Estalvis Terrasa. In the context of the merger, the Spanish government program FROB ('Fondo de Reestructuración Ordenada Bancaria') purchases EUR 380 million of convertible preference shares.
On 18 February 2011, Spain introduced a reinforced solvency framework. As a result, on 10 March 2011, UNNIM required additional capital of EUR 568 million, to meet the 10 per cent solvency ratio over its risk weighted assets) (par. 4, letter from the EC to Spain, Brussels, 30.9.2011) Furthermore, the bank failed the EU wide stress test (par. 23)
Consequently, the state (through FROB) provides EUR 568 million in the form of a purchase of ordinary shares (par. 28).
The EC states that: 'FROB is directly financed through State resources.' (par. 40) and notes that the capital injection: 'would not have been provided by a market economy investor expecting a reasonable return on his investment.' (par. 44)
The EC finds that: 'the measures distort competition as they allow UNNIM Banc to obtain the capital necessary to avoid technical insolvency and its exit from the market.' (par. 45) The EC therefore concludes that the measure is: 'likely to affect trade between Member States because UNNIM Banc and UNNIM, compete on the Spanish retail savings markets, the Spanish mortgage lending markets and the Spanish commercial lending markets.' (par. 46)
The EC also names potential affected countries by stating that: 'In all those markets, some of UNNIM and UNNIM Banc's competitors are subsidiaries and branches of foreign banks.' (par. 46)
Update: Purchase of UNNIM by BBVA - SA.33733
On 7 March 2012, UNNIM was taken over by BBVA. (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A) The purchase itself does not imply additional state aid as the EC concludes:' that BBVA bid adequately reflects the market price for the business. ' (par. 170, letter from the EC to Spain, Brussels, 25.7.2012)
Nevertheless, BVAA benefits from the capital injections of UNNIM and the measure is therefore considered to continue even though UNNIM does not longer exist.
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory