In recent years an important re-structuring and re-sizing of the Spanish credit sector has been carried out, especially at savings banks (cajas de ahorro) as a consequence of the financial and real estate crises.

The heavy concentration of real estate and developer loans by some entities in this sector, the bursting of the bubble created and the consequential deterioration of assets have lead to a weakening of the equilibrium of the balance sheets of certain entities which have had a major dependence on the debt markets, during times of a great deal of economic uncertainty.

Various regulatory reforms have driven the modification of the system itself, including the integration of the savings banks and even the going public of certain entities, as well as a cleansing of their balance sheets and regularization of banks. Minimum capital and core capital requisites have been increased, as well as provisions for certain loans. Information required to be reported has also increased.

The latest reforms introduced in the regulations strive to abide by the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on conditions of financial sectorial policy as signed by the Kingdom of Spain on July 20, 2012.

The Bank Re-structuring Fund (Fondo de Reestructuración Ordenada Bancaria; FROB) and the creation of a "bad bank" have also had special relevance.

At Gómez-Acebo & Pombo we are very familiar with the Spanish and Portuguese banking sector and regularly work with the principal credit entities present in both countries. With capacity and commitment, we advise our clients on strategic decisions, abd we work with them on the development of solutions that optimize their investment and divestment opportunities.

Our advice in this sector covers issues related to the development of the client's principal activities, on their corporate transactions, on regulatory issues as well as: lawsuits, employment, tax, intellectual property, data protection, etc. Likewise, we advise regulators and investors on framework transactions involving credit entities.

Furthermore, we have been providing advice concerning the effects on the sector of the various rules adopted in the context of the re-structuring of the Spanish credit sector and, specifically, on the interests that foreign parties have in said entities. We have also advised potential investors on the identification of potential windows of opportunity created as a consequence of the modifications within the Spanish credit sector.

Our advice to financial institutions includes:

  • Advice to credit entities on the implementation of their lending activity for loan transactions, credit facilities (syndicated and non-syndicated) and other similar transactions, on their various specialties (LBO's, MBO's, asset financing, acquisition financing, corporate finance, project finance, etc.). Specifically, due to the major importance they have had in the Spanish market in recent years, we highlight our specialization in providing advice to Spanish credit entities on the re-structuring of the financings in which they participate or have participated.
  • Advice to credit entities on all types of asset or liability transactions, including – as leaders – in securitization transactions. The above includes advice on asset and portfolio sale processes (both debt and in-rem collateralized assets).
  • Advice on regulatory law related to the activity of credit entities and, specifically, in relation to the new requisites established by the rules adopted in the context of the re-structuring of the sector. This advise is and has been provided to both Spanish entities and foreign entities with interests in Spain.
  • In relation to regulatory advice, because of its importance to Spanish credit entities, we have and continue providing advice on capital requirements, equity and provisions the entities must meet.
  • Incorporation of entities, acquisition and takings of significant stakes in credit entities.
  • Advice to credit entities on corporate transactions, M&A and commercial matters. We regularly advise financial institutions in relation to their respective investee companies.
  • Advice to credit entities as well as to the members of their Boards of Directors, on matters related to corporate governance.
  • Advice to credit entities on their internationalization processes, both within the EU as well as in non-member countries.
  • Advice to credit entities on guarantee enforcement processes (in-rem or signature) through any available proceeding.
  • Advice to credit entities in lawsuits and arbitration in relation to any of the above.
  • Advice to credit entities on insolvency proceedings, both in defence of their own individual interests as well as counsel for the syndicate.
  • Advice to credit entities on tax and employment law, as well as matters related to intellectual property and data protection.

europe firm

"They have a depth of resources in the firm across areas like litigation, tax and corporate that they can bring to bear very effectively. The partners can always tap into top-quality resources at the firm and apply it to the situation quickly."

"They have a lot of initiative and good new ideas. They are innovative."

The Chambers Europe 2017. Banking & Finance – Spain


europe firm


"We are always in a hurry and preparing everything at the last minute but they have always been able to provide all documents at the right time and collate all of the information."


The Chambers Europe 2017. Capital Markets – Spain



chambers partners

"The quality of work for the client is really good. You are always in touch with one of the partners and they co-ordinate the team. They've got a very good commercial understanding of the purpose of the deal and the key points to be negotiated."

"They have strong local knowledge and the key partners always made themselves available - lots of face time, practical advice - and helped to negotiate the deal."

The Chambers Europe 2016. Banking and Finance


chambers partners

This Spanish giant has offices in six Spanish cities and in Brussels, Lisbon and London. It is the go-to firm for many financial institutions, including numerous savings banks. The team houses 23 lawyers who are particularly prominent on large domestic operations.

Sources say: "This team really knows how banks operate".

The Chambers Europe 2012. Banking and Finance


chambers partners

The group is well known for its strong relations with many Spanish savings banks.

Clients greatly appreciate the team’s skill and dedication. 

Sources Say: "Huge industry sector knowledge, proactive approach and high-quality work".  

The Chambers Europe 2011. Banking and Finance



In this area of the market Gómez-Acebo & Pombo can claim to be a key player. "Gomez-Acebo are very active they are the main advisors of the small savings banks", says one peer and another agrees. "Gomez have a strong relationship with the Spanish banks, they have some good guys in there".

IFLR1000 2011. Banking