Spain leads Eurozone’s contraction in bank branches

Banking branches in Europe

There were 38,227 bank branches in Spain at the beginning of this year, the second highest figure in the Eurozone even after Spanish entities cut their number by 4.9% or 1,963 in 2011. According to European Central Bank data, 35.7% of all bank branches in the common currency area were closed in Spain.

Of the total branch number in Spain, 38,147 were domestic entities and 77 were EU banks (-2.5%), with eight banks being from other countries.

Since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, the Spanish banks have reduced their presence in 7,925 branches or -17.2%, the equivalent of a 53.6% of the whole Eurozone’s banking sector. By the end of 2012, there were 172,157 bank branches in the Eurozone, that is 14,777 fewer branches since 2008. In the EU, the number of branches is 218,687 or 5,528 fewer branches than in 2011 and 19,948 have been closed during the last five years.

Where have bank branches increased? In Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia, and beyond the EU lines, in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Sweden.

Obviously, jobs in the banking industry have vanished, too, following the closures of branches. Only last year, Spanish entities shed 11,664 workers, and 42,205 since 2008. In the Eurozone, there were 42,924 fewer jobs in 2012, and 128,298 have been lost during the last half decade–222,267 fewer jobs in the whole of the EU.

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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