BBVA proposes closing 400 Catalunya Banc branches and reducing staff by 2,000

June 10, 2015 10:08 PM | ACN

The Spanish banking giant BBVA, which purchased Catalunya Banc last July, is now proposing to shut down 400 branches of the acquired bank and reduce its staff by 2,000 employees (out of a total of 4,400 currently employed), according to trade union sources. At the end of April, the BBVA announced it would close 285 Catalunya Banc branches and reduce the staff by about 1,700 people. However, this Wednesday the Spanish bank has released higher figures and with this action is kicking off the official negotiation period with trade unions before it registers a mass layoff. The adjustment is to start already this year and would be completed by 2017, with the main part of it taking place during 2016. In theory it should only affect the branches that originally belonged to Catalunya Banc (CX) and the employees who were originally working for the former Catalan savings bank, and not those of the BBVA working in Catalonia. In April, Angel Cano, who is the CEO of the Spanish bank, stated that the adjustment would take place within the new integrated structure, not only in regard to the former CX branches and staff.

BBVA to close 285 branches and lay off 1,700 staff in Catalonia, after Catalunya Banc acquisition

April 29, 2015 09:09 PM | ACN

BBVA CEO, Angel Cano, announced on Wednesday a 3-year plan to restructure the bank's presence in Catalonia after the integration of the previously nationally-owned Catalunya Banc, which was purchased last July. The bank's 'number 2' explained they will shut down 285 branches of their network in Catalonia and lay off 1,700 employees, which is 20% of the local workforce including Catalunya Banc's staff. At the end of 2014, BBVA had 639 branches of its own in Catalonia and was working on integrating the 728 branches from the recently-purchased entity. According to the new plan, 150 branches from Catalunya Banc will be closed. According to Cano, the acquisition of the Catalan bank will start bringing positive figures to the Group’s results by 2016.  Furthermore, it is strategic, since the bank will roughly double its presence in Catalonia and will add 1.5 million clients, becoming Catalonia’s second-largest financial entity.

BBVA buys nationalised Catalunya Banc for €1.19 billion, meaning taxpayers will lose more than €11 billion

July 22, 2014 08:57 PM | ACN

BBVA will pay €1.187 billion to the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FROB) for the nationalised Catalan bank, beating the other two offers in the final phase of the auction process presented by Santander and Barcelona-based CaixaBank. This means that Spanish taxpayers will lose €11.84 billion considering guarantees and due to the fact that the Spanish Government injected €12.622 billion into Catalunya Banc since it was nationalised in 2011. Catalunya Banc was a private bank owned by CatalunyaCaixa, the merger of three historical Catalan savings banks (Catalunya, Tarragona and Manresa). It could not face the deep restructuring process required to meet the new banking regulations. The bank had a weak financial position resulting from a high exposition to toxic real estate and mortgages assets, as well as suffering from poor management. The BBVA will become the second largest bank operating in Catalonia, doubling its past position.

The BBVA buys Unnim Banc and becomes Spain’s largest bank

March 7, 2012 11:21 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Bank of Spain has decided to allocate the Catalan Unnim Banc to the BBVA. With the operation, the BBVA will become Spain’s largest bank, ahead of Banco Santander when considering asset volume. The BBVA will pay €1 for Unnim and €300 million for 20% of the expected real estate losses. The remaining 80% and the public funds already allocated, which correspond to almost €2 billion, will be assumed by the Deposit Guarantee Fund, paid by all the banking sector combined with public funds. Unnim was intervened by the Bank of Spain in September, since it could not reach the required core capital and was too exposed to toxic assets. Unnim was the result of the merger of 3 Catalan savings banks from the 19th century: Caixa Sabadell, Caixa Terrassa, and Caixa Manlleu.

The Spanish State to control savings banks Unnim and CatalunyaCaixa

September 30, 2011 11:42 PM | CNA

After not having found the needed private investors to meet the required levels of core capital, the Bank of Spain’s Governor announced that the Spanish State would intervene in four savings banks, including two from Catalonia. The State will control 100% of Unnim and 90% of CatalunyaCaixa. Once the banks are streamlined, private investors will be offered shares. The European Commission has authorised the operation. Now, all Spain’s banks and savings banks have at least 8% core capital. Considering the global banking sector restructuring in Spain, the Spanish State has spent 19,000 million euros from the public finances.

Two Catalan banks fail the stress tests in worst case scenarios but would be approved if all provisions would have been taken into account

July 15, 2011 11:44 PM | CNA

Unnim and CatalunyaCaixa would have 4.5% and 4.8% of core capital respectively. However, the provisions that all Spanish banks must have to face difficult times have not been taken into account as they did not exist in other European banking systems. With these funds taken into account, Unnim and CatalunyaCaixa would have approved the tests with 6.2% and 6.3% respectively. CaixaBank, the most important Catalan bank passes the test with 6.4%.

CatalunyaCaixa’s announcement to become a bank puts an end to all the savings banks in Catalonia

February 3, 2011 12:29 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

All the Catalan savings banks are in the process of becoming regular banks. In the last 6 days, all the savings banks have been defining their future and they are all going in the same direction: transforming their structures into those of a regular bank. The first stage was the merging process that took place before summertime and now, with the new banking rules at international, European and Spanish level, savings banks are finding it easier to continue operating as regular banks. The old model is thus finished.