Reduce costs and shrink, is the motto of Spanish banks and savings banks. Spain has been the country in Europe with the highest per capita density of bank branches. Because the bulk of the Spanish banking business consists of the traditional retail business, the great proximity to the customer requires. But after the abrupt end of the credit-driven consumption boom and real estate rush of the past decade, the banks begin now, massive branch closures.
The credit market is shrinking, because families and businesses to reduce debt. At the same time, the massive loan default rate, and the financial institutions have large reserves, which is threatening their profits diminish. In the last year reported a total of 3 551 profits of banks together account for nearly 19 billion euros, or nearly 27 percent less than in 2007. This trend also holds in the current year.
"To the extent that is still no solution to the difficulties in the financial markets is emerging, and the more intense and lasting in the real economy is deteriorating, is the pressure on the results in an increasing number of banks increase," warned the central bank in its latest report on financial stability . It is therefore necessary that the banks' rationalize their cost structures, either by the number and average size of their offices to reorganize, or through acquisitions or mergers to consolidate.
That happens already. Although the number of branches in the past year by 1.2 percent to about 46 000, but in the third quarter were already 18 stores and closed in the fourth quarter of 68th This year, intensifying the process. The second largest Spanish bank BBVA was about in the first half to 96 branches by October it will close another 100. A total of 500 of the approximately 3 300 BBVA branches will also be during the holiday month of August closed its doors. Like the banks Santander and BBVA Banco Popular will also be a large part of its branches is no longer open on Saturday. The closure plans are associated with early retirement and other staff.
Overall, the banks have their branches and savings in the first quarter and reduced to 370 for this and next year more than 1 500 more closures announced. Following the unanimous opinion of financial experts, the branch network due to the crisis in total by about 30 percent to shrink them.
Should be accelerated this process through the upcoming mergers and interventions by the central banks with defaults. The government has to this end, just an up to 99 billion euro bank rescue fund severe created so that the Banco de España, the restructuring of the sector with capital assistance can support.