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The CEO of , Gonzalo Gortázar, has denied “pressure” so that the merger process in Spanish banks is undertaken on a specific date as a measure to deal with the pressure in the income statements due to the context of interest rates close to zero.

During his speech at the ‘XI Meeting of the banking sector’ organized by IESE and EY, Gortázar has considered as a “logical response” the impulse of mergers in the face of falling revenues from the banking business. “There is indeed room for more consolidation,” he has indicated, although he has not ventured to put a date and names of future integrations.

Given the context of low rates, Gortázar has also ruled out that Spanish banks will end up charging individuals and SMEs for time deposits despite the measures that penalize the entities for going to the ‘moneybox’ of the ECB.

“If banks charge individuals and SMEs for their deposits, they are invited not to bring their money in. It is a scenario that is not likely and I do not see it,” explained the CEO of .

Yes, Gortázar yes that has raised that the Spanish banking can charge by deposits of the big companies with excess of liquidity, which already happens in other countries but not in Spain. In addition, it has linked the collection for deposits in the business in general to the progressive decline in the use of cash in favor of payment through electronic means.

The ‘number two’ of has emphasized that the lax monetary policy of the ECB affects both the liabilities and the assets of banks, which translates into a challenge to gain profitability since low rates reduce their income by lending money.

RISKS OF THE BANK IN THE SHADOW.

Faced with the competition of the well-known ‘shadow banking’, he has asked the regulators to monitor the regulatory “imbalances” before the “weight” of the requirements to operate in traditional banking. “If there are regulatory imbalances, money will be generated where it does not have to be,” he warned.

The CEO of has defended the model of the entity focused on Spain, despite admitting a clear dependence on the Spanish economic cycle, so it has guaranteed that it does not perceive “envy” of having a presence in ten countries instead of just one . “In two or three years it will be a competitive advantage to be able to focus on Spain,” he said.

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