Unicaja and Liberbank will complete their merger at the end of this month, after receiving the relevant authorization from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, as both entities have communicated this Monday to the supervisor of the Spanish market, the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV). The resulting bank will have a presence in 80% of the country and more than 4.5 million clients.
The resolution of the Government, which dates from last Friday, foresees that the union from which the fifth Spanish bank will emerge by volume of assets (about 110,000 million euros) will take place under the terms in which it was approved in the respective general meetings that Unicaja and Liberbank celebrated on March 31. The project presented by both was later authorized by the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) on June 29, but with some conditions related to the high concentration of branches that the resulting entity would have in the province of Cáceres.
The new bank’s headquarters are expected to continue in Malaga, where Unicaja Banco is based, but it will also have operational centers in that Andalusian city, in Oviedo (key to Liberbank) and in Madrid. Unicaja Banco, with a significant presence in Andalusia and Castilla y León, has 6,200 employees and 1,000 branches. Liberbank, created by Cajastur-Banco CCM and the Caja de Cantabria and Extremadura, has 3,700 workers and 579 branches.
The entities began to negotiate their union in 2018 and, although in May 2019 they decided to break it, the covid-19 pandemic and the pressure to gain profitability encouraged both to give themselves a new opportunity in October 2020.