Two years after Spain's GDP entered the path towards recovery, the current year presents itself as a test of the robustness of our economy. The outlook published by Funcas is positive. Spain is expected to register growth of 2.8% this year, supported by several factors: private consumption, good performance by exports, investment in capital goods and other products, as well as in construction, especially residential construction. This figure is somewhat lower than last year's growth rate of 3.2%, but it will allow us to continue on the path towards recovery in order to offer an improvement in the employment figure. This last point is key for stability and Funcas expects a decline of two percentage points, which would put the unemployment rate at 20.2%.

Reaching this point has required an effort by society as a whole. Numerous reforms have been necessary, some designed and implemented at European level and others with a national dimension. 2016 begins with a major instability in the markets and while awaiting the training of government, which you would be able to delay decisions to continue freeing everything the potential of the Spanish economy, and for ende, for the fulfillment of these predictions.

For the credit institutions associated with CECA, 2015 has been a decisive year for the establishment of a definitive legal framework for banking foundations. The various regulatory implementations undertaken by the Bank of Spain and the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness have enabled the completion of the process initiated with the publication of Law 26/2013 on Savings Banks and Banking Foundations.

This progress in the area of regulation has been parallel to the progress made in the restructuring and consolidation process. The reduction in installed capacity, the significant reinforcement of solvency levels, which stand on average at 12.4%, and the notable effort in write-downs and provisions, equivalent to 14% of GDP from 2008 to 2014, allow us to categorically assert that the Spanish banking sector is ready for its integration into the framework of the Banking Union.

The reform of the Spanish banking sector and, in particular, the improvement of the legal structure of Spanish savings banks has been another chapter in the reformist drive initiated in the wake of the economic crisis. This chapter has been closed, but many others remain open, the implementation of which will be part of the challenges facing banks this year. The regulatory calendar in 2016 already shows a bulging agenda.

The progress of the Banking Union itself is one of the main challenges. Once the Single Supervisory Mechanism is implemented, entities are subject to a new supervisory approach, less accounting-based and more forward-looking and comprehensive, whose main exponent is the SREP (Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process). This is a dialogue between each entity and the supervisor to address even aspects related to strategy and business model.

Solvency framework. In addition, the pillar focused on the resolution and recovery of banks has been addressed. At the end of last year, the first contributions to national resolution funds were made and this year the bail-in model, which establishes that private creditors can absorb an entity's losses in the event of resolution, came into force. The third pillar on deposit guarantees, which is being driven by the European authorities but still needs to be discussed among EU members, has yet to be finalised.

Improving the solvency framework for entities continues to be a concern of international organisations. In this period the new macro prudential capital buffer requirements (the requirement for systemic entities, the capital conservation requirement and the countercyclical requirement) will be implemented. Furthermore, the quest for progressive harmonisation of capital ratios continues, which will require a review of the approval process for internal risk models in the different Member States, and has also prompted a review of the calculation methodology for the standardised approach.

On the other hand, as a result of the digital transformation of the economy, the European Commission is working on new regulations on Data Protection and the Digital Single Market. Digitalisation is seen as one of the great levers of the financial business and reasonable and prudent regulation is necessary to guarantee an adequate service to the banks' customers.

Now that the economy is on the road to recovery, entities are considering the objective of returning to reasonable levels of profitability, and to achieve this, the regulatory framework must undoubtedly be stabilised. Anything that ensures the stability of the economy and good risk management is welcome, but we must not lose sight of the fact that the growth of the banking business favours access to financial products for the entire population and prevents banking exclusion in this country.

In short, the current context poses challenges and one of them is the implementation of reforms capable of responding to the real problems of society. Balance in this area, as in so many others, is the key. An effective regulatory framework must be able to prevent future crises, but at the same time be efficient enough not to hinder recovery processes.