A branch of Unicaja in central Malaga / SUR

Unicaja sees profits surge after Liberbank merger

The Malaga-based banking group will be negotiating redundancies and branch closures with unions this month

J. V. ASTORGA / A. GÓMEZ MALAGA.

Locally based Unicaja Banco has recorded a profit of 156 million euros in the year so far to the end of September, a 41% increase year on year, after taking out merger costs and bad assets.

In the third quarter of the year, business growth was driven by an increase in deposits in investment funds and new residential mortgage business. Unicaja is now Spain's fifth biggest bank after its merger with Liberbank earlier this year. Its share of the mortgage market is now 10.6%.

Unicaja Banco is currently negotiating a redundancy scheme with staff after its merger. The larger group wants to lose 1,500 staff and close 400 offices where there is overlap. It will be talking to unions during November and wants to have a final decision in less than a month.