SABADELL BANK says it has no plans for any further branch closures in Spain this year as it reported a bumper profit for 2022.
€130 million per year was saved as a quarter of its branches closed between 2020 and 2022 resulting in 1,600 job losses.
The Alicante-based bank insisted the cuts were to ensure Sabadell’s survival as a separate entity with rival BBVA instigating merger talks in 2020.
Some of the closures left some communities without a bank as the trend continued towards online banking.
Bank CEO Cesar Gonzalez-Bueno said on Thursday that if there were any branch closures this year, they would be down to ‘exceptional circumstances’.
He added that the current network was ‘adequate’ for the new cost structure, the bank’s commercial needs, and the increase in digital banking.
Sabadell’s 2022 profits were 62% up on the previous year at €859 million.
When a BBVA merger was on the cards three-years-ago, Sabadell’s annual profits had fallen to just €2 million.
The higher profits could bring some good news for Sabadell clients.
“We are planning to cut commission charges which went up when we operated in a period of negative rates for both insurance and bank customers,“ said Gonzalez-Bueno.
Sabadell has also unsurprisingly reaffirmed its opposition to a bank windfall tax on excess profits made on higher interest rates.
It claims the tax would harm smaller shareholders who account for 50% of the bank’s capital investment.