Somewhere between Tue 1 Jan and Fri 31 May 2013

Santander absorbs subsidiaries and closes 700 branches

Santander, Spain's largest bank, is to close 700 branches once it has absorbed its Banesto and Banif subsidiaries, leading to an unspecified number of job cuts over the course of the merger.

A statement issued by the bank attributed the fusion to "the deep restructuration of the Spanish banking system, which is leading to a strong reduction in the number of competitors and the creation of larger banks."

The decision to absorb Banesto, a smaller bank acquired by Santander in 1994, will cost €260 million, but will eventually save the bank €520 million in total.

The Santander brand will now have 4,000 branches in Spain and 14,000 worldwide.

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