The asset management corporation Sareb, the so-called bad bank set up at the end of December 2012 by the government to absorb and resell over 15 years some 50 billion euros in toxic real estate assets from the nationalized banks, has appointed Jaime Echegoyen as chief executive officer to replace Walter de Luna.
De Luna tendered his resignation at the end of January because of differences with Sareb’s chairwoman, Belén Romana, over how the corporation should be run.
Echegoyen head up Barclays’ Spanish operation and prior to that was chairman of Bankinter. In doing so, Sareb has opted for someone with commercial banking experience, whereas De Luna prior to joining the corporation was responsible for the ING group’s real estate activities in Spain and Portugal. Sareb sources noted that a major part of the corporation’s activities involves offloading loan portfolios it has absorbed.
In a report released last week, the International Monetary Fund said the main challenge facing Sareb this year will be turning a profit to meet interest payments on bonds it has issued. The IMF noted that the Sareb booked a loss last year as a result of ongoing falls in property prices, although the corporation has yet to publish its financial results for 2013, its first year in operation. The IMF also recommended that the Sareb adopt a flexible approach to its operations to adjust to changing market conditions.