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Madrid — Spanish bank Banco Santander slumped to the first loss in its 163-year history after the Covid-19 health crisis forced it to write down the value of its businesses across the globe.

The bank is paying the price for rapid expansion into areas hit hard by the pandemic — such as UK consumer finance and low-quality US loans — with a $14.8bn writedown on assets to reflect the worsening economic outlook. The charges sent Santander spiralling to a €11bn quarterly loss, the biggest since UniCredit’s €13.6bn  loss in late 2016...

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