Spain’s largest financial partnership group to start operations in October

By Luis A. Torralba, in Valencia | valenciaplaza.com | Once the technology system integration will be completed in October 12, Cajas Rurales Unidas will become the largest group of rural credit unions in Spain. CRU reached at the beginning of this year a business management volume of €69.8 billion, with €39.6 billion in assets and a healthy core capital rate of 12.62 percent.

Two of the entities leading the agreement, Cajamar and Ruralcaja, confirmed that the only detail delaying the project is the activation of its joint computer network. Sources conceded, though, that updated regulations have posed a challenge, too.

“We planned for CRU to be set up earlier, but the Bank of Spain has been increasing the capital requirements to the financial sector, and that includes us as well. All entities within the group have had to undergo the same process.”

The Bank of Spain has yet to send its assessment to the ministry for the Economy, which will be approving the new group. Up to 22 rural savings banks will form CRU, but other entities are said to be in the line to associate. The general consolidation the financial sector is experiencing in Spain has impacted, too, the credit partnership sector, which now seeks further concentration.

CRU will have 6,660 employees, 1,478 local branches, and more than 3.36 million clients.

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