Banca March Named Best Spanish Private Bank

Banca March Named Best Spanish Private Bank

Banca March Named Best Spanish Private Bank

For the second year in a row, Banca March has been voted Best Private Bank in Spain by the British publication Global Banking and Finance Review.

This is an undoubted feather in the cap for the Spanish lender, particularly given some of the criteria evaluated by the jury: solvency, bad debts, provisioning levels and the health of the bank’s loan portfolio.

On the other hand, this is hardly a surprise for an institution which emerged as the most solvent bank in Europe in two stress tests carried out by the European Banking Authority (EBA)  in 2011 and 2012 – when the banking crisis was at its height in Spain – with one of the lowest non-performing loan ratios and highest provisioning levels in the sector.

Furthermore, its private banking business has registered growth rates of over 20 percent both in terms of clients and funds under management even during the crisis.

So what is the secret behind Banca March’s success? A combination of factors:
• Strict risk control
Value creation for clients
• A range of innovative products and services
• A commitment to preserving customer assets.

 

A FAMILY BUSINESS SUCCESS STORY

Banca March is the parent company of one of the most important financial groups in Spain, a family-owned group that mainly focuses on private banking, wealth management and corporate banking. Insurance and fund management are also part of its portfolio of activities.

While the lender is unlisted, it is the main shareholder of the investment vehicle Corporacion Financiera Alba, through which it has a majority stake in companies like Spanish builder ACS and steel manufacturer Acerinox.

It is also a key shareholder in Spanish IT and consultancy firm Indra.

The fact the bank is family-owned, not listed on the stock exchange – and so less exposed to share price volatility – and has a unique business model, makes it a very attractive bet for clients.

 

BANCA MARCH KEEPS BAD LOANS IN CHECK

In 2014, Banca March more than doubled net profit to nearly 115 million euros thanks mainly to an improvement in net interest margins and commissions. Its private banking business saw volumes increase by 18.78 percent, while the number of clients grew by 25 percent.

Bad loans as a percentage of total lending stood at 4.48 percent at end-2014, down from 5.53 percent a year earlier, and compared with the sector average of 12.5 percent.

After Spain’s property market collapsed in 2008, its banks were saddled with a slew of soured loans issued to property developers during a decade-long boom. The sector finally got back on its feet last year thanks to an in-depth restructuring and a 41 billion euros European Union bailout. And it sailed through last year’s EBA stress tests.

Judging by Banca March’s 2014 performance and the loyalty of its customers, it is going from strength to strength!

For information on investment in Spain, contact corporate law firm Argali Abogados.

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