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Santander Spain Deposits Fell 6.3% in July, Popular’s Slid 9.5%

Banco Santander SA’s deposits at its Spanish business declined 6.3 percent in July and Banco Popular Espanol SA’s fell 9.5 percent, highlighting funding stresses facing lenders in the country.

Spanish deposits at Santander, Spain’s biggest bank, fell to 152.9 billion euros ($197.3 billion) from 163.1 billion euros in June, while Popular’s dropped to 73.8 billion euros from 81.5 billion euros, according to data published today by the Spanish banking association, known as AEB. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA’s deposits fell 7.1 percent, AEB said.

Scrutiny is mounting on the reliability of the sources of funding available to Spanish banks as the industry increasingly relies on borrowings from the European Central Bank amid Europe’s debt crisis. BBVA said in a Sept. 4 report that deposits of Spanish households and companies remain broadly stable, once the practice of Spanish banks seeking funding from commercial paper is taken into account.

A Popular official, who asked not to be identified by name in line with company policy, said its retail deposits had risen in July from June and the declines seen in AEB’s data were because of repurchase agreements and securitization funds outflows.

A Santander official, who asked not to be named in line with the bank’s policy, said the decline in July was partly due to a drop in repos. Paul Tobin, a spokesman for BBVA, said the data for its balance sheet published by AEB was for its business in Spain, Portugal and the wholesale business elsewhere in Europe and in New York.

Charles Penty in Madrid at

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