December 3, 2020

How will loans and customer accounts change if the BBVA-Sabadell merger materializes?



BBVA is in negotiations with Sabadell for the merger of what could be one of the largest bank in Spain with close to 600,000 million in assets. If it comes to fruition, From the alliance, a banking giant with 46,000 employees, more than 4,200 offices in Spain, would emerge and 8,642 ATMs. In addition, if negotiations are successful, the change will involve a reordering of branches and possible changes in customer accounts and loans. This would be the third merger of the year after the merger of CaixaBank and Bankia and that of Unicaja and Liberbank, which still has fringes to close.

Can you change my branch if I am a BBVA or Sabadell client?

The reduction of the branch network is a more than feasible possibility in any bank merger. If in a specific area offices of both brands overlap, the usual thing is to proceed to the closing with the pertinent consequences for the employment and the clients. If this were to happen, the resulting entity would be obliged to inform the user of which branch is now awarded and also to take care of the necessary procedures to execute the transfer.

«According to a report by the consulting firm Bain & Company, 29% of the network of both entities would overlap. The duplications would occur mainly in Catalonia and in the Basque Country where BBVA has a large presence. A reduction in the branch network would also cause an adjustment in the workforce, which would allow savings “, they point out from Helmycash.

Does the account numbering change?

The experts consulted argue that in the case of Sabadell’s clients there would be a renumbering in the IBAN. However, this will not cause any discomfort as the resulting bank will associate the old account number with the new one and the receipts or scheduled payments will be automatically added to this new account. “The clients that would notice the most changes would be those of the absorbed entity and everything indicates that it would be Sabadell”, they explain from Helpmycash.

Can the conditions of the contracted products be changed?

From the Banco de España customer portal they remind that in the event of a merger the characteristics of the “indefinite duration” products, such as accounts or cards are subject to changes. If it is decided to carry out any modification, the entity must notify two months in advance in the event that the new requirements are not favorable and the user will have the option to cancel the account if they are not satisfied. That is, you can change the conditions of both checking and savings accounts and apply commission hikes or require more linking products to the client.

Can I get the conditions of a mortgage signed for years?

No, the resulting bank will not be authorized to modify the requirements of personal or mortgage loans already signed and agreed in writing between the client and the other entity. That is to say, users have the right to continue paying the same fees and to maintain fixed interest rates before a hypothetical merger. What can change is the price of linked products to lower interest, that is, the so-called combined. “As its price does not appear on the deed, the absorbing bank may make these services more expensive after the merger,” helpmycash experts point out. This includes insurance premiums or commissions for associated cards, among others.

Nor can other products of a fixed duration such as deposits be touched. «The client will not notice changes, at least in the essentials since their profitability will not change. Of course, in case of wanting to renew a deposit at maturity, the client would have to assume the conditions of the new bank “, warn from Helpmycash.

What will happen to the pending claims?

From the portal, they remember that there are many bank users awaiting court hearings or decisions against BBVA or Sabadell. «The new entity You must communicate to the court that is handling the matter what is called ‘procedural succession’In other words, the bank resulting from the merger becomes the new defendant, in the state of the proceedings; in other words, it is not necessary to file a new lawsuit », explains the legal co-director of, Almudena Velázquez.

According to Velázquez, from they demand that “there is no chaos in the management of these judicial files and the preservation of the documentation, as did happen in similar merger or absorption operations, which harms not only the entity, but also to customers, because on many occasions, as for example with ‘revolving’ cards, they lack the original contract that is only in the possession of the entity, and they depend on the bank for their contribution ”.

Is it going to cause any specific harm to consumers?

The Association of Financial Users, Asufin, has warned of the disappearance of bank branches in Spain due to all the mergers that are now under negotiation and with a view to materializing. Asufin also warns that banks now trust many operations to the online environment with which the digital divide increases as this hurts less accustomed customers to the use of new technologies or those most in need of advice, that is, both the older and younger segment of the population.

“A merger would bring office closings, downsizing and fewer options in the market for consumers, who will also find more commissions in the future. We make a very negative assessment of the mergers that are being announced in the sector, which should promptly lead the Government to intervene to ensure that systemic banks have a minimum number of open offices, especially in rural areas, and put limits on commissions “, adds the general secretary of Facua, Rubén Sánchez.

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