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Four Spanish banks to merge

New firm will serve four million customers

03 June 2010

Four Spanish savings banks are set to merge ahead of a 30th June deadline to tap a government rescue fund.

Caja Murcia, Caixa Penedes, Caja Granada and Sa Nostra will form a new lender with 73 billion euros (£61 billion) in assets, 1,703 branches and four million customers.

The new group will be led by Caja Murcia, which will have five seats on the firm's board, with four for Caixa Penedes, three for Caja Granada and two for Sa Nostra.

There have been a series of mergers in Spain's banking industry recently, as smaller firms come together to access the Fund for Orderly Bank Reconstruction before it expires at the end of the month.

The fund, which is made up from public money and a combination of other rescue initiatives, was set up following the banking crisis to help smaller unlisted firms merge with stronger rivals.

Meanwhile, regional financial institution Caixa Girona has agreed to merge with Spain's largest savings bank, La Caixa.

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