The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission told Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA) it should continue providing detailed lending data about its riskier Spanish clients when it files reports in the U.S.
The market regulator said it was “unable to concur” when BBVA said it didn’t believe that quantifying its lending risk to middle and lower-middle income customers and small and medium- sized companies as a “risk factor” in its annual report would “provide meaningful information to investors.”
The SEC and Spain’s second-biggest bank commented in correspondence published today about BBVA’s 2010 annual report filed in the U.S. BBVA, which has a Spanish loan book of more than 200 billion euros ($254 billion), said residential mortgage and consumer loans made to low and lower-middle income customers made up 14 percent of the lending and loans to small and medium- sized companies comprised 6 percent at the end of 2011.
Spanish banks are under pressure to provide more information about their loan books as doubts about the health of the financial industry drive up the country’s borrowing costs. Moody’s Investors Service last week downgraded 16 Spanish banks including BBVA, citing concerns about increasing soured loans.
BBVA said in its correspondence with the SEC that it would keep updating the section in its annual report on risk factors to give information on the breakdown of lending to Spanish lower-income clients and smaller companies.
A spokesman for BBVA, who asked not to be named in line with the bank’s policy, declined to comment.
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