A leading Spanish bank experienced a significant decline in its profits during the first quarter of 2012, new figures have revealed.
Data released today by Banesto - a consumer banking division of Banco Santander - revealed the company saw its net income fall by 88 per cent throughout this three-month period.
During the corresponding timeframe in 2011, the financier - which has more than 9,500 employees - took in €169.5 million ($222 million), but this figure dipped to just €20.2 million this year.
The company attributed this sharp decline primarily to the fact it had to increase its cash reserves against losses in the real estate arena in order to comply with newly-implemented Spanish banking regulations.
Jose Garcia Cantera, chief executive of Banesto, expressed his disappointment with this performance and was quoted by Reuters as saying: "It's such a large sum that it creates a lot of uncertainty regarding the profit and loss account."
By Tony Aynsley