The cumulative gross income of C&IB to March was €717m, 3.6% down on the excellent figure for the first quarter of 2011, and 24.4% up on the fourth quarter of 2011. By geographical areas there was significant growth of 16.7% year-on-year in South America, and 2.5% in the United States.

Operating expenses were 4.6% above the figure for the first quarter of the previous year and show a very limited increase, despite the investments made in systems and growth plans in emerging economies. As a result, operating income was €502m, down 6.7% year-on-year, but up 41.0% quarter-on-quarter and despite the difficult environment, it shows great resilience.

The various business units in this area continue to show high asset quality, and thus a low NPA ratio, a high coverage ratio and loan-loss provisions that represent 12% of operating income. The net attributable profit for the quarter was €279m, down 18.3% on the figure for the first quarter of 2011, but up 25.1% on the fourth quarter.