Spanish banking group BBVA (NYSE:BBVA) posted a steep fall in net profit for its third quarter, figures released yesterday by the company show. The bank's net attributable profit for the period was 146 million euros ($189 million), down by more than 70% from 2Q's result and far lower than the 804 million euros ($1 billion) of the third quarter last year.

The lower profit also dragged on the company's nine-month performance. Net attributable profit for the period came in at 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion), or 47% lower than that of the first nine months of 2011.

BBVA attributed the current shortfall to increased provisioning for losses on property assets. Since Spain is currently undergoing a pronounced housing crisis, the government has decreed that domestic lenders must increase their provisions for such losses.

BBVA said it had reached two-thirds of the required level, or 2.9 billion euros ($3.8 billion) out of 4.4 billion euros ($5.7 billion).

Eric Volkman has no positions in BBVA. The Motley Fool has no positions in BBVA. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.