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ECB raises minimum capital requirements for Spanish banks

FILE PHOTO: European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt

MADRID (Reuters) - The European Central Bank has raised the minimum capital requirements for Spanish lenders BBVA, Caixabank, Sabadell and Bankinter as part of a supervisory review and evaluation process (SREP).

The process provides an overall assessment of the challenges that face significant institutions, together with the corresponding solvency requirements and other supervisory measures that banks are expected to comply with for the year ahead.

On Friday, Caixabank, the country's biggest lender by domestic assets, said the supervisor had set a minimum threshold of 8.58% for its strictest measure of solvency, or Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1), for 2024 compared to 8.44% set a year ago by the ECB.

BBVA's capital threshold was also raised to 9.09% for next year from 8.72%.

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The new requirement kicks in on Jan. 1, 2024.

In the case of Sabadell, the country's fourth-largest bank by market value, the solvency threshold was raised by the ECB to 8.93% from 8.65%, while it rose to 7.802% from 7.726% in the case of Bankinter.

For Unicaja, the supervisor however maintained its solvency threshold for 2024 unchanged at 8.27% compared to 2023.

Spain's Santander has still not disclosed its regulatory requirements.

(Reporting by Jesús Aguado; editing by Emma Pinedo and Sharon Singleton.)