Spanish banks' bad loan ratio almost 12 percent

Spanish banks' bad loan ratio hits almost 12 percent of total portfolios amid recession

Associated Press

MADRID (AP) -- The bad loan rate for Spanish banks has reached a record of 11.97 percent as the recession forces more companies and individuals to dodge repayments.

Central bank data released Wednesday shows non-performing loans totaled 178.7 billion euros ($238.6 billion) in July, up from 176.4 billion euros in June when the rate was 11.6 percent.

It was the fifth consecutive monthly increase.

The ratio has soared from 1 percent in 2007, a year before Spain's property market collapsed. Spain has been in recession for most of the past four years and has a 26.3 percent unemployment rate.

The government says its reforms are producing results and predicts the recession will end this year but international experts are less optimistic.

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