MADRID, March 23 (Reuters) - Spain’s Santander on Monday said it will hold its annual shareholders’ meeting at its Madrid headquarters instead of in the northern port city of Santander, without guests attending in person, as part of its measures to protect stakeholders against the spread of the coronavirus.
The bank said it had taken the decision to comply with the country’s state of emergency status.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he would seek parliamentary approval to extend a two-week state of emergency by a further 15 days until April 11 in an effort to combat the coronavirus.
The shareholders meeting will be held on April 3 with only the participation of the executive chairman Ana Botin, chief executive officer Jose Antonio Alvarez, and secretary of the board Jaime Perez Renovales, the bank said.
Santander has already closed slightly less than half of its branches in Spain to adapt to lower attendance from clients as coronavirus spreads, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Friday. Its more than 20,000 staff in Spain are already working from home. (Reporting By Jesús Aguado; Editing by Angus MacSwan)