Spanish bank Santander's fourth-quarter net profit slumped by 98 percent, it said on Wednesday, hit by mis-selling compensation in Britain and slowing income in Brazil, two of its most important markets.
The bank, which has long been under scrutiny over its capital ratios, showed progress on this front in the fourth quarter, however, with ratios under the strictest criteria nudging up to more than 10 percent, meeting Santander's targets.
Compensation for British customers mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) accounted for almost half of 1.44 billion euros ($1.57 billion) in one-off charges, while profit excluding one-offs felt the impact of the decline in its recession-hit Brazilian business.
The euro zone's largest lender by market value posted recurring group profit that was flat against last year at a slightly worse than expected 1.46 billion euros. Including one-off charges, net profit came in at only 25 million euros.