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:
"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
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
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