Spain's Banco Popular is mulling a capital increase of around 2.0 billion euros ($2.6 billion) and the suspension of dividend payments to avoid having to accept state aid, reports said Sunday.
The bank was identified in an audit by US consultancy Oliver Wyman as one of seven Spanish lenders that would need extra capital to withstand a serious economic downturn.
Banco Popular would need 3.2 billion euros in extra cash, according to the audit, which was released Friday.
The bank will mull a capital increase of about 2.0 billion euros at a board meeting Sunday, the El Pais daily reported without citing a source.
It also plans to sell assets, including real estate, and cancel dividend payments, the paper said.
The ABC daily, citing unnamed market sources, said the lender was considering a capital increase of 1.6 billion euros. It did not say when the bank's board would meet to discuss the plan.
A Banco Popular spokesman declined to comment on the reports.
But after the Oliver Wyman audit report was released Friday, the bank said it had "sufficient capacity with its own resources" to boost its capital.
"The policy of Banco Popular has always been to not ask for public aid and to instead generate resources through the retention of profits and the contribution of capital from its shareholders," it added in a statement.
"That policy has not changed, ruling out injections of public capital."
The seven banks identified by the audit as needing to boost their capital will need to raise some 54 billion euros.
Oliver Wyman examined 14 banks accounting for about 90 percent of the Spanish financial system's assets as part of its audit.
Spain secured a rescue loan in June of up to 100 billion euros from its eurozone partners for its banks, which are struggling with a surge in bad loans following the collapse of a property bubble in 2008.