The FINANCIAL -- Spain has not as yet formally
submitted a request to activate an EU emergency aid programme for its
banks, the European Commission said Wednesday.
"The Commission can confirm that at this point it has not received a request to activate the emergency aid programme," spokesman Olivier Bailly said, as sources in Madrid suggested the government would call for help earlier than planned.
"We are working on the demand for funds for Bankia. The deadlines are open. There is an installment of 30 billion euros and a possibility of an earlier injection," a source in the Spanish economy ministry told AFP.
As EUbusiness reported, he referred to a state-owned bank that was formed in 2010 through the merger of several regional savings banks as part of a costly restructuring of a banking sector stricken by the financial crisis.
"We are working on that for Bankia and the rest of the nationalised banks" -- CatalunyaCaixa, Novagalicia and Banco de Valencia, the source added.
Spain's government had planned to announce after the results of an audit due in September how much the four banks need to get from a 30-billion-euro ($37-billion) first installment of eurozone loans.
That is part of a credit line of up to 100 billion euros agreed last month by the euro countries to stabilise Spain's banks, which are struggling with mountains of bad loans from a property bubble that burst in 2008.
Spanish daily El Pais, citing ministry sources, reported Wednesday that the rescue funds for Bankia were being finalised and would be transferred to it within days.
The money is due to be transferred via a Spanish government bank restructuring fund.
In May this year, Bankia turned to the government for a 23.5-billion-euro bailout which drove Spain to seek the eurozone rescue funds for its finance sector.
"There has been no request by the Bank of Spain to activate this emergency clause," Bailly said in Brussels.