Tuesday, 1 March 2022, 16:44
The banking sector in Spain has closed about twenty percent of its branch networks in the last year. The digitalisation of operations and the collapse of profit margins due to the drop in interest rates have forced a change in the model that has already caused protests over the technological gap, especially with the elderly.
But the process, focused on cutting costs through mergers and cutting staff and branches, seems unstoppable. Entities such as La Caixa, Sabadell, BBVA and Santander have reorganised their resources in recent months, while Unicaja Banco reached an agreement with the unions in December to cut staff after its merger with Liberbank, which will mean the dismissal of 1,500 workers and the closure of almost 400 offices throughout the country.
The Malaga banking entity has already begun to notify its clients which branches will lower the shutters on 18 March. They are mostly small offices that did not even have an automatic cash machine.
In Malaga province the Unicaja branches that will close are:
– Villanueva de Tapia. Now customers will have to depend on the Archidona office.
– Bobadilla. Unicaja will maintain its ATM, although the office will close and matters will be dealt with at the Plaza de San Sebastián branch in Antequera.
– Istan. Business will be transferred to the Ricardo Soriano branch, in Marbella.
– Alfarnate. Customers will depend on Riogordo.
– Almachar. Business will be moved to the office on Paseo de Larios, in Torre del Mar.
– Igualeja. Banking business will be transferred the office on Calle La Bola, in Ronda.
– Pujerra. Customers will depend on the office on Calle La Bola, in Ronda.
– Estación de Gaucín. Business will be transferred to Cortes de la Frontera office.
- Genalguacil. Client's business will be moved San Cristóbal branch in Ronda.
– Jubrique. Bank customers will depened on the San Cristóbal branch in Ronda.
– Montecorto. Unicaja will maintain its ATM, although the office will close and cleint's will depend on the San Rafael branch in Ronda.
Despite the closures, Unicaja Banco continues to be the financial entity with the greatest presence in the province and has adhered to the protocol recently signed by the banking associations to promote the financial inclusion of the elderly or people with disabilities.
The Malaga bank will also install nine ATMs in municipalities in the province with a small population as part of an agreement signed with the Diputación on 11 February. Specifically, the cash machines will be installed in Algatocín, Júzcar, Benalauría, Jimera de Líbar and Serrato in the Serranía de Ronda, and Arenas, Canillas de Albaida, Cútar and Macharaviaya, in the Axarquia. In total the towns have a population of more than 5,000 inhabitants.
After its recent merger, Unicaja became the fifth largest bank in the Spanish financial system. It has more than 1,360 branches and more than 2,500 ATMs.
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