Virus pushes Santander into massive annual loss

MADRID (AFP) – Spanish banking giant Santander reported yesterday a net loss of over EUR8.7 billion for 2020 due to restructuring costs and provisions set aside to cope with the coronavirus crisis.

The results were in line with forecasts for a loss of around EUR8.65 billion from analysts polled by Factset.

In the fourth quarter alone, the bank achieved a profit of EUR277 million (USD333 million), well below the 526 million euros expected by analysts.

Banks across Europe are struggling to cope with record low interest rates, a shift by customers towards online banking and the economic downturn sparked by the pandemic, which is forcing them to cut costs.