We recently reported on the Caixa Catalunya selling 824 of its branches. Not even a month later, LaCaixa, Spain’s largest savings bank announces it will close 250 branches by 2010 in an attempt to save costs. An article on Reuters.com highlights LaCaixa’s plan: “The talks which are being held by the savings bank envisage the closure of 150 offices in 2009, and another 100 in 2010,” the spokeswoman said, adding that talks had yet to close.” Considering that LaCaixa currently has 5,577 branches this is a 4% reduction of their number of branches.
If Spain’s largest savings bank is starting to announce cost cuts, what can we expect from smaller banks in Spain this year? And what about the 470 billion euros owed to banks in Spain by thousands of developers which are predicted to go bust this year, which according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers will result in a total collapse of commercial courts. Will this mean smaller banks will be hit hard? Will Spaniards rush to their banks and take out all their cash this year to go back to putting it under their matress?