Up to 10,500 jobs could be lost if BBVA takes over Banc Sabadell

Business association Pimec warns that between 589 and 883 branches would be closed

Banc Sabadell ATM
Banc Sabadell ATM / Jordi Borràs
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

July 9, 2024 03:42 PM

July 9, 2024 03:43 PM

A merger between BBVA and Banc Sabadell could lead to the loss of up to 10,500 jobs, the business association Pimec warned.

The merger will have a "significant impact" on competition in the banking sector and a "negative effect" on businesses, especially SMEs, a study by Pimec found.

According to the study, between 7,600 and 10,500 jobs would be lost, representing between 40% and 55% of Banc Sabadell's workforce, most of them in Catalonia.

Between 589 and 883 branches would be closed in Spain, of which between 174 and 281 in Catalonia.

The study found that after the merger, BBVA and Caixabank, would control 73% of bank branches in Spain, which would lead to an "increase in prices and deterioration" in the quality of banking services, especially in rural areas.

"A merger is like a melon, until you open it you cannot see its final impact, which can only be evaluated after a few years," said the president of the Pimec SME Observatory.

The availability of credit would be reduced by 8%, about €54 billion, which would mainly affect SMEs and consumers.

"We will have less financing capacity, which is absolutely essential for us," said Antoni Cañete, president of Pimec.

In the same line, the College of Economists of Catalonia has warned that a merger would threaten competition in the banking sector and affect the credit of SMEs.

"The takeover of Banc Sabadell will generate more banking concentration and a potential risk of restricting credit to SMEs," the entity said.

Last week, BBVA bank shareholders approved a capital increase of €551 million and the issuing of 1.12 billion new shares to finance the takeover bid for Banc Sabadell.

To formalize the takeover bid, BBVA must now obtain approval from the European Central Bank (ECB) and Spain's National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) and National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).