Saturday, December 2

The affected companies warn of the impact on customers and investors

The CEO of Santander, José Antonio Álvarez, this Thursday at the entity’s headquarters. / EFE

In the middle of the week of presentation of results, Santander, Sabadell and Repsol insist that they will try to avoid fiscal “arbitrariness”

Jose Maria Waiter

The whims of the political calendar have intersected with the agendas of the large Spanish companies, which during these days present their half-yearly results to the market. Coinciding with the week in which the entities render their accounts, the Government has begun the processing of the tax that will be levied on the income of the financial sector. And those responsible for the corporations have taken advantage of the opportunity to charge against the tax that, they insist, will end up harming savers and minority bank shareholders in one way or another.

The CEO of Banco Santander, José Antonio Álvarez, lamented yesterday that the tax “stigmatizes the sector” and has warned that, regardless of who it affects, inflation is not combated with taxes. This was stated during the presentation of results for the semester, a period in which Santander has earned 4,894 million euros, 33% more than in the same period of 2021.

The executive considers that the collection objective of 3,000 million euros in two years that the Government intends, will reduce the capacity of the sector to lend around 50,000 million. In his opinion, with those 3,000 million, the bank can lend 50,000 million to the economy. “It’s an account. This capital subtracts capacity to lend for an amount of 50,000 million euros. The dynamics of the market will be what they have to be”, Álvarez pointed out, to warn that the first ones who could suffer from the tax are the shareholders, and the economy.

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In this sense, the bank employers AEB and CECA also spoke, where they consider that it is a measure that will not achieve the objective of combating inflation and, in addition, will hinder recovery and job creation.

The CEO of Banco Sabadell, César González-Bueno, has argued that the tax “must be neutral from a competition point of view” and has warned that those affected will be mostly small savers. The entity has earned 393 million euros until June, 78.6% more.

The executive sees “essential” that the taxable event respects the framework of competition between entities, so that it does not favor any entity or exclude some from paying the tax or define a payment method that harms some entities against others .

He has detailed that 50% of Sabadell is in the hands of 224,000 private shareholders with an average investment of 1,950 euros each, which means that “the vast majority are small savers.” González-Bueno has also highlighted the tax burden borne by the sector, which in his case exceeds 800 million euros.

Benefits for crude

In the case of Repsol, its CEO, Josu Jon Imaz, has denied that the oil company receives “benefits from heaven” for its activity in the current context of rising energy prices and has assured that it will do “everything possible” to fight against any “arbitrary” initiative.

Imaz assured that “he has no doubt” that the constitutional and legal framework, both of the European Union and of Spain, will protect Repsol from any “possible arbitrary initiative or arbitrary measures.”

The company has obtained a net profit of 2,539 million euros in the first half of the year, after doubling last year’s profits, driven by the rise in hydrocarbon prices and refining margins.

This Wednesday, electric companies such as Endesa and Iberdrola charged against the tax. And yesterday, the Aelec organization indicated that “it is not justified by the existence of extraordinary benefits” since the companies “are not obtaining these benefits due to the set of measures approved to date.”

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