Spanish lenders Caixabank and Banco Sabadell have decided to move their legal headquarters out of Catalonia amid the uncertainty caused by the region’s referendum for independence.

Caixabank has decided to relocate its base to Valencia, while Sabadell will move its base to Alicante.

Banco Sabadell, which has 2,800 branches and a customer base of over 11 million in Spain, said that the move will not involve transfer of staff.

“Banco Sabadell will continue to carry on its business as usual to attend to the companies and families throughout all the territories in which it operates, under the supervision of the European Central Bank and the regulations of the European Banking Authority,” the lender said in a statement.

The move by the two banks comes after a decree issued by the Spanish cabinet that will ease the process for firms to move their base away from Catalonia without prior approval of shareholders.

“Since  a  priority  for  any  financial  institution   is   the   protection   of   its   clients,   shareholders   and  employees,  its  Board  of  Directors  has  unanimously  decided,  with  the objective of  fully  safeguarding the legal and regulatory security  inherent  to  its  activity,  in  light  of  the  current  political  and social  situation in Catalonia  to: Adopt  all  necessary  measures  to  move  its  registered  office  to  2 – 4  Pintor Sorolla Street in Valencia,” Caixabank said in a statement.

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By GlobalData