Reserves for soured loans took a bigger bite out of Santander’s earnings in the third quarter than the second, as the bank put more cash aside to cover credit risks in its US business.

Net loan-loss provisions – calculated as reserves held for non-performing loans (NPLs) minus those returned to earnings from cured assets – grew 5% to €2.1 billion in the three months to end-September. The increase was 11% when excluding the effects of foreign exchange movements.

Group-wide provisions were