The merger of seven Spanish
cajas will create Spain’s biggest savings bank and the country’s
third-largest bank by assets.

The 2,169-branch-strong
Caja Madrid and Bancaja (1,578 branches) will merge operations with
five smaller savings banks: Caja Insular de Canarias, Caixa
Laietana, Caja Segovia, Caja Rioja and Caja Avila, creating a
merged entity with €340bn  in total assets.

The seven cajas
kicked off
merger discussions last June
following pressure from the
Spanish government and Bank of Spain to speed up consolidation of
the country’s banking sector.

News of the seven way
merger followed within hours of Barcelona-based public sector
lender, La Caixa, announcing plans to launch a listed bank,

A wave of mergers within
the Spanish cajas sector has reduced the number of regional mutual
savings banks in the country from 45 to 17 in the past four

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