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This article analyzed the impact of the global crisis on the Spanish financial system between 2008 and 2010. It shows that, overall, the performance of the largest Spanish financial institutions was positive. The article examined why, and outlined some lessons. It contendedthat this response was largely driven by institutional, political, and cultural factors. At the same time, the article showed that as the crisis intensified, Spain's banking sector could not escape its dramatic effects.

Deteriorating economic conditions, the implosion of the real estate market, the dependence on wholesale funding, weaknesses in the regulatory framework, and the role of the Bank of Spain all helped to explain this reversal.

Finally, the article considered the Spanish experience within the framework of the varieties of capitalism literature. It showed that differences among financial systems persist. Indeed, in Spain, the crisis has led to extensive regulatory intervention, reinforcing the preexisting model.