BUSINESS
09/30/2011 07:18 EDT | Updated 11/30/2011 05:12 EST

Spain nationalizes 3 weak banks that failed to meet new capital reserve requirements

MADRID - Spain says it has nationalized three troubled banks that failed to meet new capital requirements and says the process of restructuring its financial sector is now complete.

The Bank of Spain identified them Friday as Unnim, CatalunyaCaixa and NovacaixaGalicia.

All three are the result of mergers of smaller savings banks known as cajas, a sector that was heavily exposed to Spain's imploded real estate sector. After capital injections, the government now owns more than 90 per cent of the three banks' shares.

The new core capital requirements were announced by the government in February.

The Spanish central bank says it has spent €7.5 billion ($10.2 billion) in recapitalizing the three now nationalized banks and in restructuring the wider financial sector.