• Lending growth in the most profitable segments in 2022
  • Double-digit operating income growth
  • Significant improvement in efficiency in the year
  • Solid risk indicators, with a reduction of both the non-performing loans balance and the NPL ratio in 2022

Business activity (1)

(1) Excluding repos.

Net interest income/AVERAGE TOTAL ASSETS

Operating income (Millions of euros)

Net attributable profit (LOSS) (Millions of euros)

Financial statements and relevant business indicators (Millions of euros and percentage)

Income statement 2022 ∆% 2021(1)
Net interest income 3,784 8.1 3,501
Net fees and commissions 2,156 (1.8) 2,195
Net trading income 396 30.1 304
Other operating income and expenses (191) 75.1 (109)
Of which: insurance activities (2) 378 5.6 357
Gross income 6,145 4.3 5,890
Operating expenses (2,919) (4.1) (3,043)
Personnel expenses (1,608) (7.4) (1,738)
Other administrative expenses (907) 3.7 (875)
Depreciation (404) (6.3) (431)
Operating income 3,226 13.3 2,847
Impairment on financial assets not measured at fair value through profit or loss (522) 4.0 (503)
Provisions or reversal of provisions and other results (78) (71.2) (270)
Profit (loss) before tax 2,625 26.6 2,075
Income tax (743) 41.8 (524)
Profit (loss) for the period 1,882 21.4 1,551
Non-controlling interests (3) 38.3 (2)
Net attributable profit (loss) excluding non-recurring impacts 1,879 21.4 1,548
Net impact arisen from the purchase of offices in Spain (201) - -
Net attributable profit (loss) 1,678 8.4 1,548
  • (1) Restated balances. For more information, please refer to the “Business Areas” section.

  • (2) Includes premiums received net of estimated technical insurance reserves.
Balance sheets 31-12-22 ∆% 31-12-21
Cash, cash balances at central banks and other demand deposits 49,185 86.4 26,386
Financial assets designated at fair value 126,413 (13.1) 145,546
Of which: Loans and advances 41,926 (17.2) 50,633
Financial assets at amortized cost 204,588 2.5 199,646
Of which: Loans and advances to customers 174,031 1.7 171,081
Inter-area positions 38,924 14.6 33,972
Tangible assets 2,990 18.0 2,534
Other assets 5,093 (4.7) 5,346
Total assets/liabilities and equity 427,193 3.3 413,430
Financial liabilities held for trading and designated at fair value through profit or loss 84,619 4.0 81,376
Deposits from central banks and credit institutions 51,702 (5.6) 54,759
Deposits from customers 220,471 6.7 206,663
Debt certificates 40,782 6.7 38,224
Inter-area positions - - -
Other liabilities 16,495 (10.4) 18,406
Regulatory capital allocated 13,123 (6.3) 14,002
Relevant business indicators 31-12-22 ∆% 31-12-21
Performing loans and advances to customers under management (1) 171,268 1.8 168,235
Non-performing loans 7,891 (6.6) 8,450
Customer deposits under management (1) 219,592 6.6 205,908
Off-balance sheet funds (2) 86,759 (7.8) 94,095
Risk-weighted assets 114,474 0.6 113,797
Efficiency ratio (%) 47.5 51.7
NPL ratio (%) 3.9 4.2
NPL coverage ratio (%) 61 62
Cost of risk (%) 0.28 0.30
  • (1) Excluding repos.
  • (2) Includes mutual funds, customer portfolios and pension funds.

Macro and industry trends

Despite the war in Ukraine and the ongoing tightening of monetary conditions, economic activity continued to show dynamism in the second half of 2022. Inflation displayed recent signs of deceleration, in line with lower energy prices, favored by expectations that current gas inventories are high enough to avoid a shortage in the winter of 2022-23. Spain's GDP increased by 5.5% in 2022, ninety basis points above BBVA Research's forecast. The interest rate hikes by the ECB, disruptions in the gas market and the global and European slowdown are expected to moderate the economy, and GDP growth in 2023 would be around 1.4%, 0.2 percentage points higher than previously expected by BBVA Research. Inflation, which ended the year at 5.7% after breaching the 10.0% threshold at the mid-year, will moderate to around 3.5% in the 2023 average, which is still above the ECB's 2% target.

As for the banking sector, based on data as of the end of November 2022, the volume of credit to the private sector remained stable, with a slight growth of 0.4% year-on-year. This was mainly driven by mortgages and credit to non-real estate businesses. Customer deposits (demand and time) grew by 2.8% year-on-year at the end of November 2022. For the time being, no transfers to time deposits has been observed. The NPL ratio continued to decline, reaching 3.68% in November 2022, 61 basis points lower than in the same month of 2021. The system also maintains comfortable solvency and liquidity levels.


The most relevant aspects related to the area's activity during 2022 were:

  • Lending activity increased in the year (1.8% compared to the end of 2021), largely supported by the growth of business segments, especially SMEs (+11.0%) and corporate loans (+8.4%), as well as higher consumer balances (+9.1%, including credit cards).
  • Total customer funds recorded a variation of +2.1%, which represents balances, for the first time in the last twelve months, above the end of 2021, with uneven performance by product: customer deposits under management increased by 6.6% in 2022, with growth in demand deposits and, to a lesser extent, in time deposits -no transfers from demand to time deposits currently observed-. For its part, off-balance sheet funds (mutual and pension funds) declined by 7.8% weighed down by the evolution of the markets in 2022.

Related to activity during the last quarter of the year, it should be noted:

  • The lending activity balance decreased by 1.3% compared to the close of September, mainly due to a lower volume of corporate and investment banking operations. This was partially offset by the dynamism in consumer loans (+3.4% including credit cards) and SMEs (+1.4%), which continue to show solid growth in the quarter.
  • With regard to asset quality, the NPL ratio remained stable at 3.9%, with a reduction in the non-performing loans balance in the quarter, affected by a portfolio sale, and the coverage ratio decreased in the quarter to 61%, impacted by the previously mentioned sale.
  • Total customer funds increased by 3.0% in the last quarter of the year. By product, growth in both demand and time deposits and, to a lesser extent, in off-balance sheet funds.


Spain generated a net attributable profit of €1,678m in the year 2022, up 8.4% from the result achieved in the previous year, due to the dynamism of net interest income and the higher net trading income (NTI), which together with lower operating expenses and provisions, have driven the year-on-year evolution. This result includes the net impact of €-201m from the purchase of offices from Merlin, recorded in the second quarter of the year. Excluding this impact, the cumulative net attributable profit of the area at the end of the year 2022 stands at €1,879m, 21.4% above the net attributable profit of the previous year.

The most notable aspects of the year-on-year changes in the area's income statement at the end of December 2022 were:

  • Net interest income registered an increase of 8.1%, supported by the improvement in customer spread, in an environment of rising interest rates, and the activity growth.
  • Net interest income registered an increase of 8.1%, supported by the improvement in customer spread, in an environment of rising interest rates, and the activity growth.
  • NTI stood a 30.1% above the one achieved in the same period of the previous year, mainly due to the greater contribution of the Global Markets unit.
  • The other operating income and expenses line compares negatively to the previous year, mainly due to the higher contribution to the Single Resolution Fund (hereinafter, FUR, for its acronym in Spanish) and Deposit Guarantee Fund (hereinafter, FGD, for its acronym in Spanish), which was partially offset by the good performance of the insurance business (+5.8%).
  • Decrease in operating expenses (-4.1%), mainly due to lower personnel expenses, as a result of the restructuring process in 2021.
  • As a result of gross income growth and the declined expenses, the efficiency ratio stood at 47.5%, representing a significant improvement compared to the 51.7% recorded at the end of December 2021.
  • Impairment on financial assets was 4.0% above the one recorded in 2021, due to the provisions increase in debt securities portfolio (release in 2021), which were partially offset by slightly lower loan-loss provisions. As a result, the accumulated cost of risk at the end of December 2022 stood at 0.28%, below the 0.30% at the end of December 2021. In the fourth quarter, in addition to the recurring flows own needs, loan loss provisioning in the quarter includes the effects of the updated macroeconomic estimated forecasts, affected by the war in Ukraine impact, the energy costs, and the interest rates evolution and the inflation on expected losses, as well as the recording of additional provisions in certain portfolios and sectors most vulnerable to the current macroeconomic environment. The aforementioned explains the accumulated cost of risk increase compared to the third quarter of the year.
  • The provisions and other results line closed the year 2022 at €-78m, which compares very positively with last year, due to, among other factors, the provisions update in 2022 for pensions and other personnel commitments.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, Spain generated a net attributable profit of €365m, a -27.5% compared to the previous quarter. The evolution is marked by the contribution to the FGD made during the last three months of 2022, which offset the favorable evolution of the net interest income and NTI due to the higher ALCO portfolios contribution. For its part, the operating expenses increased as a result of the variable remuneration improvement, in line with the area's performance in 2022, as well as the loan-loss provisions also increased, as previously mentioned.