By Patricia Kowsmann


Banco Santander SA, a global retail bank based in Spain, said Tuesday that it took a 1.6 billion euros ($1.73 billion) charge related to the coronavirus outbreak in the first-quarter ended March 31, driving its profit sharply lower.

Profit for the quarter fell 82% to EUR331 million from EUR1.84 billion a year ago, the bank said, adding it will review its strategic targets "once we have a more complete understanding of the full impact of the crisis."

European banks that have reported results so far have been all over the place with their loan-loss charges, a reflection of the economies they serve, their type of operations and also of the leeway regulators have provided for the calculation of the possible loan losses.

Santander is the largest bank in Spain, where the coronavirus outbreak was one of the worst in the world. The country has been in full lockdown for several weeks. The bank said that EUR9.6 billion in loans have been approved or are being processed under a state-guaranteed loan program to finance companies faced with lack of revenue.

The bank's main profit source, however, is Brazil.


Write to Patricia Kowsmann at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 28, 2020 03:33 ET (07:33 GMT)

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