(Adds data on repossessed homes in 2013)
MADRID May 19 Spanish lenders' bad debts as a
percentage of total loans was 13.4 percent in March, stable from
February, as both bad loans and overall lending dropped, the
central bank said on Monday.
Total credit in the financial system was 1.440 billion euros
($1.97 billion) in March, down from 1.453 billion in February,
while bad loans dropped to 193 million euros from 195 million
euros in February, after hitting a record high in December.
Spanish banks, crippled with sour assets after a prolonged
property bubble burst in 2008, mostly forecast that bad loans
will go down this year as the country returns to growth and
lending picks up again.
While the situation for lenders is easing, more families
lost their homes last year because they were unable to pay their
mortgages, the Bank of Spain reported on Monday.
Close to 50,000 homes were repossessed in 2013, up 4.4
percent from 2012, despite the government passing rules to
protect homeowners and the banks agreeing to restructure
mortgages under a voluntary code of conduct.
Although the repossession rate remains low at 0.66 percent
of mortgages, the issue is highly sensitive in Spain where
social campaigners routinely fight the police and judges to
avoid home evictions.
($1 = 0.7297 Euros)
(Reporting by Julien Toyer; Editing by Fiona Ortiz)