October 25, 2019 / 11:09 AM / a month ago

Spain's Sabadell plans to close around 10% of its branches in Spain in 2020

FILE PHOTO: Sabadell bank's headquarters is seen in Barcelona, Spain, October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s Banco Sabadell (SABE.MC) plans to close around 200 branches in Spain in 2020, its chief executive officer Jaime Guardiola said on Friday.

As of end-September, Sabadell had 1,893 branches mostly in Spain, meaning the upcoming closures would imply a 10% reduction in offices.

“Our plan is to close around 200 branches in Spain next year, which also foresees investments in ATMs and bigger branches,” Guardiola said.

Like other European banks, Spanish lenders are struggling to lift earnings as low interest rates squeeze financial markets. They are increasingly focusing on trimming costs and boosting efforts to sell services on digital platforms.

Since the financial crisis in 2008, the number of branches in the Spanish banking sector has declined by more than 40% while the number of employees has shrunk by more than 30%.

Reporting By Jesús Aguado; Clara-Laeila Laudette

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